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H E E Z E a O Y I N A 













All riqhtf reserved 





Having obtained access to some new authorities on 
Bosnian history, I have thought it desirable to make 
some adehtions to my ' Historical Eeview' in the present 
Edition. I was the more anxious to do this as the 
brevity with which I had expressed my views on the 
most important aspect of Bosnian history — its connection, 
namely, with the early history of Western Protestantism — 
has led in some quarters to strange misconception. In 
setting my conclusions on this head in, I trust, a clearer 
light, I have been greatly aided by the recent appearance 
of Herr Jirecek's Geschichte der Bulgaren, which contains 
some valuable data from South- Sclavonic sources touching 
the tenets and Church government of the Bogomiles, and 
their missionary triumphs in Italy and Provence. 

I have also added a few considerations on the present 
state of Bosnia, the malign and artificial character of 
the Osmanli governmeut in that province, and the reforms 
which it were most desirable that an united Europe 
shonld enforce. 



Herzegovina, I have ventured to give some particulars 
in the story of our itinerary. 

We were armed with an autograph letter from the 
Vali Paslia, or Governor-General of Bosnia and Com- 
mander-in- Chief of the Turkish forces, and owing to this 
were able to accomplish our tour without serious molesta- 
tion, though it must be confessed that we underwent some 
risks. With a few short breaks we made our way through 
the country on foot, whicli is perhaps a novelty in Turkish 
travel. Our only impedimenta consisted of the knapsack 
and sleeping gear on our backs, so that we were entirely 
independent ; and being able to use our legs and arms and 
sleep out in the forest, we were able to surmount moun- 
tains and penetrate into districts which, I think I may 
say, have never been described, and it is possible never 
visited, by an ' European ' before. 

If this book should do anything to interest English- 
men in a land and people among the most interesting 
in Europe, and to open people's eyes to the evils of 
the government under which the Bosniacs suffer, its ob- 
ject will have been fully attained. Those who may be 
inclined to ' try Bosnia ' will meet with many hardships. 
They must be prepared to sleep out in the open air, in 
the forest, or on the mountain-side. They will have now 
nnd then to put up with indifferent food, or supply their 
own commissariat. They will nowhere meet with moun- 
tains so fine as the Alps of Switzerland or Tyrol, and 
they will be diHapi)ointed if they search for a3sthetic em- 
bellishments in the towns. But those who are curious 


as to some of the most absorbing political problems of 
modern Europe; those who delight in out-of-the-way 
revelations of antiquity, and who perceive the high his- 
toric and ethnologic interest which attaches to the Southern 
Sclaves ; and lastly, those who take pleasure in picturesque 
costumes and stupendous forest scenery ; will be amply 
rewarded by a visit to Bosnia. There is much beautiful 
mountain scenery as well, and the member of the Alpine 
Club who has a taste for the jagged outlines of the Dolo- 
mites and the Julian Alps, in spite of a certain amount of 
attendant limestone nakedness, may find some peaks 
worthy of his attention towards the Montenegrine frontier. 
It would not be difficult to mention routes of greater 
natural attractions than that w^e followed, and I may ob- 
serve that the falls of the Pliva, which we did not see, 
have been reckoned among the most beautiful waterfalls 
in Europe. 

The first two chapters, written mostly while delayed 
in Croatia, refer rather to the borderland of Bosnia, and 
may not be of general interest, dealing much in costumes 
and antiquities. The last, which describes the old Ee- 
public of Eagusa, may serve to show that the Southern 
Sclaves are capable of the highest culture and civilisation. 
In the Historical Eeview of Bosnia I have attempted to 
elucidate and emphasise a most important aspect of Bos- 
nian history — the connection, namely, between that till 
lately almost unknown land, and the Protestant Eeforma- 
tion of Europe, and the debt which even civilised England 
owes to that now unhappy country. 



Historical Review op Bosnia . xxiii 



Slovenization in Styria— Regrets of a Prussian — Agram — Her Scla- 
vonic Features, Hero, Art, and Architecture — Flowers of the Market- 
place — Croatian Costume — Prehistoric Ornament and Influence of 
Oriental Art — South-Sclavonic Crockery, Jewelry, and Musical In- 
struments — Heirlooms from Trajan or Heraclius? — Venice and Croa- 
tia — Croatian Gift of Tongues — Lost in the Forest — A Bulgarian 
Colony — On to Carlovatz — The Welsh of Croatia — Croatian Charac- 
teristics — Carlovatz Fair — On the Outposts of Christendom . 



The Military Frontier, its Origin and Extinction — Effects of Turkish 
Conquest on South-Sclavonic Society — Family Communities — Among 
the House-fathers — Granitza Homesteads — The Stupa — Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity — ■ Contrast between Croats of Granitza and 
Slovenes — The Advantages and Defects of Family Communities — 
Larger Family Community near Brood — A little Parliament House — 
Croatian Brigands — A Serb Lady — Turkish Effendi and Pilgrim — • 
Siszek — Roman Siscia ; her Commercial Importance — Her Martyr — 
Remains of ancient Siscia — Destiny of Siszek — Croatian Dances and 
Sengs — Down the Save — New Amsterdam — South-Sclavonic Types 
• — Arrive at Brood — Rutsian Spies ! — A Sunset between two Worlds 
^Marched off— Bearding an Official — A Scaflbld Speech — In Durance 
vile— Liberated ! 





Insurrectionary Agitation among Southern Sclaves — Proclamation of 
the Pasha of Bosnia — "VVe land in Turkish Brood — Moslem Children 
— Interview with the Miidir — Behaviour of our Zaptieh — Peasants 
of Greek Church — How these Christians love one another — Arrive 
at Dervent — Interview with Pasha of Banjaluka — Hajduks' Graves 
— Rayah Hovel — Difficulty with our Host — Doboj ; its old Castle 
and Historical Associations — A South-Sclavonic Patriot — Fii-st 
Mountain Panomma — The ' Old Stones,' a Prehistoric Monument — 
Tesanj : its old Castle and History — ' Uiie Petite Guerre ' — Latin 
Quarter of Tesanj — Soused by an old Woman — Influence of Oriental 
Superstitions on Bosnian Rayahs — Argument with the Kaimakani — 
Excusable Suspicions 80 



Through the Forests of the Black Mountain — The Flower of Illyria — A 
Mysterious Fly — Enchanted Ground — The Fairy Mountain — Great 
Christian Pilgrimage — The Shrine on the Mountain-top — Christian 
Votaries in the Garb of Islam — The Night-encampment — How the 
Turks dance — Anacreontic Songs — An Epic Ban!, Poetic Genius of 
Ik>8niacs — Insolence of Turkish Soldiers and their Ill-treatment of 
the Rayahs — Types at the Fair — Aspect and Character of Men — 
Chefs-dattvre of Flint-knapping — Christian Graveyard and Monastery 
— Dismiss our Zaptieh — Night on Forest-mountain of Troghir — 
"Wrecks by Wind and Lightning — Scene of Forest Fire — Timber 
Barricades — Summit of Vucia Planina — A Bon-vimnt — Steep Descent 
— Night in a Hole — Almost Impassable Gorge — Egyptian Rocks — 
Repulsed from a Moslem Village — Tombs of the Bogomiles — Arrive 
at Franciscan Monastery of Guciagora — Fears of a Massacre — Rela- 
tions of Roman Catholics with the Turks — Austrian Influence in 
Bosnia — Aspirations of the Bosnian Monks 120 



A Turkish Cemetery — Ai-rive at Travnik — Taken for Insurgent Euiis- 
Baries — The ex-Capital of Bosnia — New Readings of the Kor.m — 
Street* of Travnik — Veiling of Women in Bosnia — Survivals of old 
Sclavonic Family Life among Bosnian Mahometans — Their Views on 


the Picturesque — Their Dignity, oracular Condescension, and Laisser- 
Aller — Hostile Demonstrations — Bashi-Bazouks — ' Alarums Excur- 
sions ! ' — Insulted by armed Turks — Rout of the Infidels — Departure 
of Mahometan Volunteers for Seat of War — Ordered to change our 
Route — A Turkish Road — Busovac — Romish Chapel and Bosnian 
Han — The Police defied — Our Mountain Route to Foinica — Ores and 
Mineral Springs — Dignity at a Disadvantage — Turkish Picnic — The 
Franciscan Monastery at Foinica — Refused Admittance — An ' Open 
Sesame ! ' — ' The Book of Arms of the Old Bosnian Nobility ' — 
Escutcheon of Czar Diishan — Shield of Bosnia — Armorial Mythology 
of Sclaves — The Descendants of Bosnian Kings and Nobles — The 
Ancient Lords of Foinica — The * Marcian Family ' and their Royal 
Grants — A Lift in the Kadi's Carriage — Traces of former Gold Mines 
— Mineral Wealth of Bosnia — A ' Black Country ' of the future — 
Why Bosnian Mines are unworked — Influence of Ancient Rome and 
Ragusa on past and present History of Bosnia, and on the distribu- 
tion of her Population — A fashionable Spa — Kisseljak and — Beds ! . 185 



Outbreak of the Insurrection in Bosnia — Roadside Precautions against 
Brigands — Panorama of Serajevsko Polje — Roman Bas-relief of Cupid 
— Roman Remains in Bosnia — Banja and Balnea — ^ The Damascus 
of the North ' : first Sight of Serajevo — Her History and Municipal 
Government — Fall of the Janissaries — Dangerous Spirit of the Ma- 
hometan Population of Serajevo — Outbreak of Moslem Fanaticism 
here on building of the new Serbian Cathedral — We enter the City 
through smouldering Ruins — Hospitable Reception at English Con- 
sulate — Great Fire in Serajevo — Consternation of the Paslia — Panic 
among the Christians — Missionaries of Culture : two English Ladies 
— Causes of the Insurrection in Bosnia: the Tax-farmers: Rajahs 
tortured by Turks — ' Smoking ' — The Outbreak in Lower Bosnia — 
Paralysis of the Government, and Mahometan Counter- Revolution — 
Conjuration of leading Fanatics in the Great Mosque — We are accused 
before the Pasha by forty Turks— Consular Protection — The Fanariote 
Metropolitan and Bishops of Bosnia — Their boundless Rapacity, and 
Oppression of the Rayah — A Bosnian Bath— Mosques and Cloth-hall 
of Serajevo — Types of the Population — Spanish Jews, and Pravoslave 
Merchants — Bosnian Ideas of Beauty !— Opposition of Christians to 
Culture — Extraordinary Proceedings of the Board of Health — The 
Zaptiehs — Continuance of the Panic — Portentous Atmospheric Phe- 
nomenon — The Beginning of the End 234 





Talismans and Phylacteiies — Connection between the Geology of Illyria 
and her Cabalistic Science — Roman Gems, and Altar of Jove the 
Thunderer — Amulets against the Evil Eye — On our Way again — 
The Gorge of the Zelesnica — Pursued by Armed Horsemen — Sleep 
under a Haystack — Chryselephantine Rock-sculpture — Wasting her 
Sweetness on the Desert Air I — Mt. Trescovica — The Forest Scenery 
of Mt. Io[man — Transformations of the Herb Gentian — Reminiscences 
of the Karst — No Water ! — A Race against Night — Sti-ange Bed- 
fellows — A Bosnian-Herzegovinian House — We encounter Baslii- 
Bazouks — Cross the Watershed between the Black Sea and Adriatic 
— First Glimpse of the Herzegovina — Signs of a Southern Sky — 
Coinica, the Runnymede of the Old Bosnian Kingdom — Great Charter 
of King Stephen Thomas — Our Host : the Untutored Savage — Ab- 
sence of Nature's Gentlemen — Democratic Genius of Bosniacs and 
Southeni Sclaves— The Narenta and its treacherous Waters — Iron 
Bridge — Entertained by Belgian Engineer — Murder of Young 
Christian by two armed Turks — Trepidation of our Host and Pre- 
parations for Flight — Touching Instance of Filial Aifection ! — A 
Village of Unveiled Mahometans — Rhododdciyls : Darwiniauism 
refuted at last I — The Tragic Lay of the Golden Knife — Magnificent 
Scenery of the Narenta Valley; Amethystine Clifts and Emerald 
PooU — A Land of Wild Figs and Pomegranates .... 285 



Aniulets against Blight — A Hymn in the Wilderness — We arrive at 
Mostnr — Our Cousul — Anglo-Turkish Account of Origin of the In- 
surrection in the Herzegovina — The real Facts — The ' Giumrvk ' — 
The Begs and Agas and their Serfs — The Demands of the Men of 
NeveSinje — Massacre of Sick Rayahs by Native Mahometans begins 
the War — Plan of Dervish Pasha's Campaign — Interview with the 
Governor-General, Dervish Pasha — Roman Characteristics of Mostar, 
and her Roman Antiquities — Trajan's Bridge — Ali Pasha, his Death's- 
heads and Tragical End — The Grapes of Mostar — Start with Caravan 
for Dalmatian Frontier — A Ride in the Dark — Buna and the Vizier's 
Villa — Bosnian Saddles — A Karst Landscape — Tassoric: Christian 
Crosses and interesting Graveyard — Outbreak of Revolt in Lower 
Narenta Valley — The Armed Watch against the Begs — A burnt 
Village — On Christian Soil once more — Metcovich — Voyage Down 
the Narenta Piccola — Ruins of a Roman City — The lUyrian Nar- 
bonne — Mctumorphosia of Sclavonic God into Christian Snint — The 



old Pagnnia — The Narentines and Venetians — Narentine Characteris- 
tics^A Scotch Type — Subterranean Bellowings near Fort Opus : 
The Haunts of a Minotaur ! — Adverse Winds — Tremendous Scene at 
the Mouth of Narenta — La Fortvna e rotta 1 — Our Boat swept back 
by the Hurricane — A Celestial Cannonade — Sheltered by a Family- 
Community — Dalmatian Fellowship with the English — Stagno — A 
Romantic Damsel — Gravosa, the Port of Eao:usa .... 326 



Marvels of the V'alle d'Onibla— Port of Gravosa — Rocky Coves and 
Gardens of Ragusa — Ragusa Vecchia; Remains of Epidaurus — • 
Monument of a Roman Ensign — Mithraic Rock-sculpture — Plan of 
Canale and the Roman Aqueduct — Antique Gems : the Lapidary 
Art in Ancient Illyria — Epidauritan Cult of Cadmus and ^sculapius 
— Phcenician Traces on this Coast — Syrian Types among modern Pea- 
sants — GrottatPEscolapio and Vasca della Ninfa — Cavern, and Legend 
of St. Hilarion and the Dragon — Mediaeval Sculpture in Ragusa 
Vecchia — The Founding of Ragusa — The Roman City on the Rock, 
and the Sclavonic Colony in the Wood — Orlando saves the City from 
the Saracens, and St. Blasius from the Venetians — Ragusa as a City 
of Refuge — Visit of Coeur-de-Lion — Government of the Republic — 
Sober Genius of Ragusans — Early Laws against Slavery — Hereditary 

"• Diplomatists — Extraordinary Bloom of Ragusan Commerce — The 
* Argosies ' — Commercial and other relations with England — Litera- 
ture of Ragusa ; she creates a Sclavonic Drama — Poets and Mathe- 
maticians : Gondola and Ghetaldi — The great Earthquake — End of 
the Republic — A Walk in Ragusa — Porta Pille — Stradone — Torre 
del Orologio — Zecca and Dogana — Ancient Coinage of Ragusa — 
Palazzo Rettorale — A Mediaeval ^sculapius — Monuments to Ragu- 
san Peabody and Regulus — Cappella delle JReliquie — Silver Palissy- 
ware by a Ragusan Master — Cross of Stephen Uros — Discovery of 
St. Luke's Arm ! — The Narrow Streets of Ragusa : Case Signorili, 
and Hanging Gardens — A Bird's-eye View of tlie City — The Herze- 
gcfvinian Refugees — A jewelled Ceintnre from Nevesinje — The Fugi- 
tives taken ! — Turkish Influence on Ragusan Costume — Contrast 
between Ragusan Peasants and ' Morlacchi^ — Refinement of the 
Citizens — Blending of Italian and Sclave — The Natural Seaport of 
Bosnia — A Vision of Gold and Sapphire — On the Margin of the 
Hellenic World— Shadow and Ni<:ht 379 



Herzegovinian Repugkes at Ragijsa .... Frontispiece 
Great Seal op Tvartko, King op Bosnia (see p. Ixxi, note) m title-page 
Tomb op Catharine, last lawful Queen of Bosnia . To face page xxiii 

Croatian Types „ „ 11 

Bosnian Types at Serajbvo . . . . . „ ,,277 



Croatian Cloth es-sli op, Agram 4 

Croat Woman in the Agram Market 9 

Roman and Croatian Pottery 18 

Croatian Pottery 19 

Outlines of Croatian Musical Instruments 22 

Outline of Tracery . . . . 23 

Bulgarian Settlement 29 

Bulgarian Profile 31 

Sluin Woman «... 35 

Croat Man 37 

A Granitza Homestead 48 

Stupa 50 

Homestead of Family Community, near Brood, Slavonia . . .57 

Plan of Common Dwelling 59 

Head of Slavonian 85 

View on River Save, looking from Slavonian Brood towards the Bos- 
nian Shore .88 

Plan of Turbine Mill 95 

Bosnian Girl of the Possavina ,96 

Diagram of Salt-mill 104 

Old Castle of Doboj .105 

The 'Old Stones,' near Te&inj 112 




Castle of Te?anj 114 

Turkish Caf^, Tesanj • 117 

Latin Maiden of TeSanj 120 

Pots from TeSanj 121 

Pilgrims at the Shrine, near Comiisina 132 

Types at the Fair 145 

Bosnian Belle . . 148 

Gun-Flint . 153 

Tree struck by Lightning 158 

Rocky Gorge of the Jasenica 169 

Mysterious Sepulchres, Podove . . ' 171 

Ancient Monuments in ^elesnica Valley 175 

View in Travnik 192 

Bosniac Mahometan Woman 195 

Old Castle of King Tvartko at Travnik 203 

Bosnian Armorial Bearings 218 

Bas-relief of Cupid 237 

Arrowhead Charms . . . 291 

Amulets against the Evil Eye 292 

Mount Trescovica, from South-Eastern Spur of Mount Igman . . . 297 

Mount Bielastica 298 

Plan of Bosnian Han 302 

First Glimpse of the Herzegovina 304 

View of Coinica . . .305 

Unveiled Mahometan Women at Jablanica 322 

Mostar Bridge 348 

Christian Monuments, Tassorid ..... . . 360 

Graveyard at Tassoric . . .' 361 

Wom'en and Child, Stagno ...*... . . 376 

Sculpture of Roman Standard-Bearer at Ragusa Vecchia . . . 387 
Head of Brenese Peasant . . . . , . . , . 393 

Virgin and Child ' . . . . .397 

Palazzo Rettorale and Toitb del Orologio, Ragusa 429 

^ Key to the Pronunciation of the Serbo-Croatian Orihography^ 
adopted for Illyrian Names in this Book, 

Serbo-Croatian Letters 

Approximate Sound. 



French J. 



Italian ffl. 



Italian gn. 



English ch. 






German tsch. 






English sh. 



English y. 



XXI 11 


* Tan turn religio potuit suadere malorum.' 

About the middle of the fifth century, when Britain was passing 
definitely into the hands of the English, and when on the Con- 
tinent the hordes of Attila were dealing the most tremendous 
blow that had yet fallen on the Eoman Empire, Sclavonic 
tribes . overran Moesia, Thrace, Macedonia, and Illyricum, and 
pushed on to the Adriatic shores. PVom this period the final 
settlement of the Sclaves in the area of what is now known as 
Turkey-in-Europe may be safely dated. ^ Their first ravages 
over, the Sclaves, who from their communal family-organisation 
were little capable of formidable combination, appear to have 
easily accepted Eoman suzerainty. The new settlers were soon 
among the most trusted troops of the Eastern Emperor, and at 
the beginning of the sixth century the Sclavonic colony of Dar- 
dania gives Eastern Rome one of its most renowned Emperors 
and its greatest general. The Sclave Upravda, the son of 
Istok, is better known as the Emperor Justinian, and Veli^af 
as Belisarius. 

Thus were first cemented those peculiar relations between 
the Sclaves and Byzantium which are still of supreme im- 
portance in considering ' the Eastern Question.' The Byzantine 
government saw itself so capable of dealing with the Sclaves, 
that when the Avar nomads, at the beginning of the seventh 
century, devastated Illyricum, massacring alike Sclavonic settler 
and Eoman provincial, and sacking even the coast cities of 
Dalmatia, Heraclius, as a masterstroke of policy, called in two 
new Sclavonic tribes from beyond the Danube as a counterpoise 

^ This is not the place to discuss the question of earlier Sclavonic immi- 


to the Avars ; and the corner of the Balkan peninsula between 
the Save, the Morava, and the Adriatic, was divided among the 
►Sclavonic tribes, the Serbs, and the Croats, who still throughout 
this area form the bulk of the population. 

The account given of this settlement by Constantine Por- 
phyrogenitus * is so mixed up with mythical elements that we 
can only accept the general outlines. As might be expected 
from the analogy of our own history of the conquest of Britain, 
tlie Sclavonic sagas, which seem to form the basis of the Byzan- 
tine version, bring into the field certain leaders with eponymic 
names ; ^ but the old family life of the Sclaves asserts itself even 
in these legends, and we read that the Croats were led to the 
conquest of the Avars by a family of brothers and sisters. 

The Croatian settlement seems to have been the earlier. 
The Croats came from the countries beyond the Carpathians, 
and colonized the countries now known as Austrian and 
Turkish Croatia, and the northern part of Dalmatia. The 
Save formed a rough boundary to the Croatian nationality on 
the north, the Verbas on the east, and to the south the Cetina. 

The Serbs, then inhabiting a part of what is now Galicia, 
hastened to imitate the example of the Croats, and took for 
their share the lands to the east and south of that occupied 
by their brother race. They occupied the whole, or nearly 
the whole, of the area now occupied by Free Serbia, Bosnia, 
Herzegovina, Montenegro, Old Serbia, and the northern half 
of Albania, and stretched themselves along the Adriatic coasts 
from the neighbourhood of Spalato. where the river Cetina 
runs into the sea, to Durazzo, then still Dyrrhachium. Thus, 

^ De Administrando Itnpeno, capp. xxx., xxxi., xxxii. 

' Chorvat, one of the supposed Croatian leaders, is evidently the epony- 
mus of the "whole race of Croats, whose own name for themselves, Char- 
vati or Hrvati, seems to signify * mountaineers,' and to be connected with 
the name of the Carpathian mountains, and the Carpi of Roman histo- 
lians. Hilferding points out that of the names of Chorvat's four brothers, 
as friven by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, two are equivalent in meaning to 
* Delay ' or * Tarrying,' and Chorvat's two sisters bear the Sclavonic names 
of * Joy ' and ' Sorrow.' The names are perhaps allegorical of the gradual 
char.icter of their conquests, and of defeats sustained as well as victories 


with the exception of the barren corner called the Kraina, or 
Turkish Croatia, the whole of what is now known as Bosnia, 
with which we have particularly to deal, belongs to the Serbian 
branch of the Sclaves. 

For long the history of what later became the Bosnian king- 
dom is indistinguishable from that of the rest of the Serbs. 
The whole Illyrian triangle was divided into a great number of 
small independent districts, somewhat answering to the Teu- 
tonic ' Gaus,'' called Zupy. Zupa means ' bond ' ^ or confedera- 
tion, and each Zupa was simply a confederation of village com- 
munities, whose union was represented by a magistrate or 
governor, called a ^upan. The Zupans in turn seem to have 
chosen a Grand-Zupan, who may be looked on as the President 
of the Serbian Federation. We know little about the early 
Zupanships of the Bosnian area, but a few of the petty com- 
monwealths of the Serbian coastland, and what later on became 
the Herzegovina, are mentioned by the Byzantine Emperor 
Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote about 950, and the 
names and situation of some in the Bosnian interior may be 
gathered from ecclesiastical diplomas. Here and there we read 
of a ' Ban ' (translated, in Diocleas, by the Latin word ' Dux '), 
who was rather higher than an ordinary Zupan. 

These Serbian ' Archons,' as the Byzantine historians speak 
of them, acknowledged the suzerainty of the Eastern Empire, 
and even, in some cases (though doubtless to a less extent than 
the Croats), accepted Byzantine dignities. Thus a Ban of 
Zachlumia accepted the titles of Proconsul and Patrician. Later 
on, when Czar Simeon erected the new Bulgarian Empire, 
Serbia was forced for a while to bow to the dominion of the 
conqueror of Leo Phocas. In the tenth century the Serbs 
shake off the Bulgarian yoke, and we now begin to hear of 
four Grrand-Zupans, whose jurisdictions answer to Serbia proper, 
Rascia, Dioclea, and Bosnia. The power of the lesser Zupans 
was during this period being diminished for the benefit of these 
greater potentates, who in Bosnia are generally known as Bans. 

^ This seems to me far more probable than tlie poetic derivation of Zupa 
from the same word in the sense of 'sunnv land.' 


' The Bans,' says the contemporary Serbian historian,^ ' ruled 
each of them in his own province, and subjugated the ^upans, 
receiving from them the taxes which beforetime had been paid 
to tlie King,' i.e. the sole Grrand-^upan. 

During the ninth and tenth centuries, while Bosnian-Ser- 
bian history is still so obscure, that of the Croats had achieved 
some prominence. The settlement of the Croats had, as we 
have seen, somewhat preceded the Serbian. They bordered on 
the coast-cities of Dalmatia, where Eoman nationality and some- 
thing of Roman civilization still lingered. Their relations with 
Byzantium were more defined, and they had also for a moment 
entered into the system of the renovated Empire of the West. 
Thus the Croats were earlier imbued with Christianity than the 
Serbs, and external influences were earlier at work to give their 
too acephalous government greater unity than their inland 
neighbours, still under the full sway of Sclavonic communism, 
could attain to. In the year 914 a Croatian Grrand-Zupan, 
Tomislav, who, in virtue of his relations to the Byzantine 
government and the Eoman population of the Dalmatian cities, 
had assumed the title of ' Consul,' begins to be known to foreign 
princes as ' King of the Croats.' The successor of Tomislav is 
said to have conquered the neighbouring Serbian Banat, which 
from the principal river within its confines begins about this 
time to be known as Bosona, or Bosnia. It even became a con- 
stitutional principle in Croatia that, when the king died child- 
less, a new king should be elected by the seven Bans of the 
crown-lands, one of whom was the Ban of Bosnia.^ 

But this Croatian suzerainty was, as yet, premature. At the 
beginning of the eleventh century the Greek Emperor Basil 
having completed the slaughter of the Bulgarians succeeded in 
subjugating the Croats, and the introduction of Byzantine 
Governors and Protospathars into Dalmatia threw back Bosnia 

* Presbyteri Diocleatis, Regnum Slavorutn (in Lucius, De Regno Dal- 
maticB et Croatia;, Uhn se.v. Amst: 167G : p. 291.) 

^ See Code^v Diplomaticus Regni Croatite, Dalmatice et Slavonian, p. 188 
(u Zagrebu, 1874). Sub Anno 1100. The seven Bans appear in the fol- 
lowing order : — 1, the Ban of Croatia ; 2, the Ban of Bosnia ; 3, of Sla- 
voniaj 4, of Peseta; 6, Podraviaj (5, Albania; 7, Syrmia. 


on to the support of her Serbian neighbours.^ The Bosnian 
Ban Niklas not only accepted the Serbian Grand-Zupan Dobro- 
slav as his overlord, but aided him most efficaciously in annihi- 
lating two Byzantine armies ^ in those gorges of the Black 
Mountain which, from time immemorial, have been so fatal to 
the ambition of Stamboul. 

Thus down to nearly the middle of the twelfth century, 
Bosnia continued to own allegiance to her Serbian suzerains, 
and the claims of the Croats to Bosnia continued to be little 
more than nominal till their own country fell into hands more 
capable of enforcing them. But at the beginning of the twelfth 
century the Magyars overthrew the kingdom of the Croats, 
. and in 1141 Geiza II. of Hungary completed the conquest of 
Bosnia, or, as it is generally known in the Hungarian annals, of 
Eama, from the little river of that name, flowing into the 
Narenta.^ Still, the Hungarian dominion does not seem as 
yet to have been much more than a vague suzerainty. Bosnia, 
indeed, throughout the whole of this period, seems to have 
stood aloof from all its neighbours. It might own a nominal 
allegiance, now to Serbia, now to Croatia, now to Hungary, 
but it enjoyed a practical independence. Its general isolation 
from the main current of Serbian history may be gathered from 
the chronicler of Dioclea; and when Manuel Comnenus reduced 
Hungary to a temporary subjection, his historian Cinnamus was 
struck with the same phenomenon. ' The Drina,' says he, ' di- 

^ According to the Presbyter of Dioclea, Basil subdued tlie whole of 
Bosnia, Rascia, and Dalmatia, including what is now Herzegovina. But 
this subjection, if it was ever effected, must have been of the most tempo- 
rary character. From 1018 to 1076 the diadem of the Croatian Prince was 
received from Byzantium. 

2 The allied Serbian troops, under Dobroslav and Niklas, overwhelmed 
the army of Michael the Paphlagouian's general in the gorge of Vranja in 
Zenta, and, subsequently, that of Michael the Logothete, Governor of 
Durazzo under Constantine Monomachus, in the defiles between Cattaro 
and the lake of Scutari, which form at present the heart of Montenegro. 
See Maximilian Schimek's Folitische Geschichte des Konicjreichs Bosnien und 
Hmna. Wien, 1787, p. 21. 

^ See p. .317. Perhaps this stream once formed the boundary of Croatia 
in this direction. Evidently the name must first have been applied to 
Bosnia by Dalmatian borderers. The name Rama at first comprised the ter- 
ritory between this river and the Adriatic. 


vides Bosthna from the rest of Serbia. For Bosthna is not sub- 
ject to the Grrand-^upan of Serbia, but the people were at that 
time under their own magistrates, and used their own customs.' 
The recent Russian historian of the Serbs and Bulga- 
rians * traces many of the later misfortunes of Bosnia to this 
fatal estrangement from the other Sclavonic lands. 

The Hungarian alliance now makes this alienation irrevoc- 
able. Cinnamus shows the close relations existing between Bosnia 
and Hungary at the date of Manuel's invasion when he goes 
on to say that ' Boritzes,^ Exarch of Bosthna,' aided the King 
of Hungary against the Greeks ; and, indeed, we know from 
other sources 'that the Bosnian Ban was himself an illegitimate 
son of the Magyar king, Goloman. Manuel reduced Bosnia, 
with Croatia and other parts of Hungary, for a while ; but the 
Ban was not long in recovering the province. The Hungarian 
connection was only cemented the more firmly, and on Boric's 
death, in 1168, his son, the new Ban Culin, accepted his in- 
vestiture from Bela III., and subscribed himself henceforth 
Fiduciarius Regni Hungarlce, 

The rule of Ban Culin is justly regarded as the brightest 
period in the annals of Christian Bosnia. His first care on 
his accession was to surround himself with trustworthy Zupans 
and Voivodes, and during the thirty-six years of his reign 
Bosnia enjoyed a profound peace. Under his auspices and 
protection the merchants of Eagusa began to plant tlieir 
factories in Bosnia, and open out anew the rich mines which 
had been left unworked since the days of the Romans. 
The very year after Culin's accession, two Ragusan brothers 
built a factory and opened mines on the site of what has since 
become the capital of Bosnia.^ Other mines were shortly 
opened in the neighbourhood, and a fortress, called after the^ 
Sclavonic name of their mother city, Dubrovnik, was built by 
the same enterprising merchants to protect their industries. 
The same wise policy encouraged another immigration, this time, 

* Hilferding", Serben und Bulgaren, p. 150. 

* The Bail Horic. The passages relating to Bosnia in Cinnamus are in 
liis Ilistoriar. lib. iii. c. 7 and ID. 

^ See i)p. 1>L>1), 241, 40a. 


of Saxon miners, who, like the Ragusans, did much to lay 
bare the great mineral wealth of this and the other Serbian lands, 
and who have left their traces in several old Grerman mining 
expressions still current among the miners and mountaineers 
of Bosnia. These Saxons, or Sasi, settled chiefly in the 
towns, where their influence was valuable in instilling some- 
thing of the civic unity of the free Teutonic burghs into the 
loosely compacted aggregation of hovels that clustered round 
the fortified ' grad ' of the Bosnian lord. ^ Culin is said to have 
been the first Bosnian prince who struck coina, and the general 
prosperity was such that to this day ' the times of good Ban 
Culin ' are invoked by the Bosniac when he wishes to express 
the golden age. 

But the patronage which Culin afforded to a religious sect 
that now becomes prominent in Bosnia makes his rule of still 
greater importance, and leads us to the consideration of a sub- 
ject which has its bearings even on English history. 

The doctrine of the Two Principles of Good and Evil, which 
had its origin perhaps in the sublime mythology of Persia 
and the eternal conflict of Light and Darkness, held its own 
amongst the various Gnostic sects of Christianity, scattered 
throughout the Eastern world, while the West was content to 
slumber in comparative orthodoxy. In Armenia, where these 
doctrines had certain affinities with the earlier religion, they 
seem to have taken especially firm root ; and here, as in the 
other border states of the Byzantine Empire, heterodoxy went 
hand in hand with patriotism. Consider;ng the hostile rela- 
tions in which both nations stood to Byzantium, it is not at all 
surprising that friendly communications should have subsisted 
between the Armenians and the Bulgarian Sclaves whose 
country lay to the east of the Serbians. Further, it was ex- 
tremely natural that Armenians, for national as well as sectarian 
reasons, should view with jealousy the progress of orthodox 

1 At Novibrdo, in Serbia, the most flourishing of the Saxon colonies, 
spoken of rapturously by an old Serbian writer as ' a city of silver and gold/ 
the Teutonic word for * Burgher ' became naturalised, and a letter of the 
Ragusans is extant addressed in 1388 to the Captain and Burghers, Kefaliii 
Pwgnrom, of the town. See Jirecek, Gesch. der Bidyaren, p. 401. 


missionaries among the Bulgarians, and should attempt to 
counteract it by organising a propaganda of their own Mani- 

Such was actually set on foot. How early this proselytism 
was first commenced is doubtful, but it is certain that the 
Danubian Sclaves were converted from heathenism pari passu 
by Manichsean and orthodox missionaries. The Byzantine 
Emperors, by their transplantation system, gave the Armenians 
every facility for their work. In the middle of the eighth 
century Constantino Copronymus, who had perhaps some sym- 
pathies with the heretics, transplanted a body of Paulicians 
from Armenia into Thrace, who we learn, on the authority of 
Cedrenus, spread the Paulician heresy through those parts, then 
largely inhabited by the Bulgarian Sclaves. At the end of the 
ninth century, when the persecution of Byzantium had pro- 
voked the Paulicians of Armenia to assert their independence, 
when ' the Roman Emperor fled before the heretics whom 
his mother had condemned to the flames,' and Tephrice became 
the capital of a free-state devoted to Gnostic Christianity, the 
missionary efi'orts of the Armenians among the Sclaves was 
prosecuted with still greater vigour. Petrus Siculus, who in 
870 resided nine months at Tephrice as legate of the Byzantine 
Government, to arrange for an exchange of prisoners, discovered 
that a Manichsean mission was about to start from Tephrice 
to the Bulgarians, and addressed his ' Historia Manichseoriun ' 
to the Bulgarian Patriarch, with the express purpose of coun- 
teracting these baneful efforts. 

The fall of the Paulician free- state of Tephrice synchronizes 
with the rise of the first Bulgarian Empire, and we can well 
imagine that the refugees of vanquished Armenia found shel- 
ter among their Manichsean co-religionists in the dominions of 
Czar Simeon, the hero of the Achelous, From this period 
onwards the Paulician heresy may be said to change its nation- 
ality, and to become Sclavonic. According to the Bulgarian 
national traditions,* a certain priest named Bogomil spread the 

1 See the Symdic ' written in the Bulgarian language by command of 
the Czar Boris in the year 1210,' ft translation of which from the original 
manuscript is given by the Russian historian Hilfercling (in the German 
translation of his History of the Serbs and Bulgarians, part i. p. 118). 


Manichsean doctrines among the subjects of the Bulgarian Czar 
who succeeded Simeon, Peter Simeonovid A more enlightened 
criticism will perhaps see in the name ' Bogomil ' only another 
instance of that ' eponymic ' tendency of barbarous minds 
which refers to individuals events and institutions which have 
really a more national character. In the same Bulgarian docu- 
ment which professes to give the origin of their name, they are 
connected with the Massalian heresy; by Harmenopulos and 
other Byzantine writers they are made almost or quite identical 
with these same Massalians, and with the Euchites, their Grreek 
equivalent, and there seems to be no reasonable doubt that the 
name Bogomile is really nothing but a Sclavonic translation of 
the Grreek and Syriac names for the sect. The name of Mas- 
salians is derived from a Syriac word, signifying ' those who 
pray,' and the Greek Euchites have of course the same deriva- 
tion. The Byzantine writer Epiphanius ^ has the credit of 
giving the fight etymology of the word Bogomile, in that he 
derives it from the Bulgarian words Bog z'mihii^ signifying 
' Grod have mercy,' an etymology which fits in with that peculiar 
devotion to prayer which was characteristic of the Bogomilian 
religion, which harmonizes with that of the allied sectaries, 
the Massalians and Euchites, and which would be still intelli- 
gible to all Sclavonic peoples, from the White Sea to the ^gean. 
We need not, however, go so far as to deny that the Bogo- 
milian heresy took its characteristic shape under the direction 
of a Bulgarian heresiarch. The historic existence of the first 
Bogomilian pope seems sufficiently attested, ^ but the Bulgarian 
traditions name him indifferently Jeremias and Bogomil, and 
it is quite possible that the latter name was added at a later 
time by a confusion with the Sclavonic homonym for Massa- 
lians and Euchites. 

^ Excerpted in Sam. Andrese, Disquisitio de Bogomilin. 

^ Recent Sclavonic writers accept the Bulgarian traditions as to the 
Pope Bogomil, but they seem to me not to allow sufficient weight to 
Byzantine evidence. It is right, however, to note that ' Bogomil ' is a pos- 
sible Bulgarian personal name, and exactly answers, as Jire6ek observes, to 
the German ' Gottlieb.' It is remarkable that the heretics never called 
themselves Bogomiles, but simply * Christians/ as did the Patarenes and 
Albigensians of the West. By the orthodox Sclaves they were called 



Through all the varying phases of Bulgarian history the 
Bogomiles, as these Sclavonic Manichaeans are now known, hold 
their own. It seems certain that the Bulgarian Czars, in their 
struggle with Byzantium, did not wish to alienate a powerful 
party at home, and we hear occasionally ominous whispers 
that Bulgarian Emperors themselves leaned towards the doctrine 
of the Two Principles.^ The Bulgarian heresy was perpetually 
fed from its Oriental sources by new Byzantine transplanta-* 
tions, and in the tenth century the Emperor John Zimisces 
did much for the propagation of Grnosticism among tlie Sclaves 
by transporting a more powerful colony of Armenians than any 
that had gone before ' from the Chalybian hills to the valleys of 
Mount Hsemus.' It is now that the Bogomilian heresy begins 
to spread beyond the limits of Bulgaria, aniong the kindred 
Serbian tribes to the west. Bulgaria, earlier civilizedr from 
her closer contact with Byzantium, was exercising during these 
centuries a predominating influence over the less cultured 
Serbs. From the Bulgarian missionaries Serbia first received 
the seeds of her orthodox Christianity, and there can be no 
doubt that proselytism was at work on the Manichsean side as 
well. Add to this that a large part of Serbia fell at different 
times under the Bulgarian dominion. 

By the end of the tenth century the Bogomiles have taken 
firm root among the Serbs. In the legend of the Serbian 
prince, St. A^adimir,^ one of his highest merits is that he was 
the zealous enemy of the Bogomiles. St. Vladimir certainly in- 
cluded in his dominions parts of what is now the Herzegovina, 
and, according to some accounts, Bosnia as well. 

The events which now follow must have largely increased 
the number of Manichaeans in these and the other Serbian 
lands. Basil, ' the slayer of the Bulgarians,' at the beginning 
of the eleventh century, finally overthrew the first Bulgarian 

Bogomiles, Bahuni^ Manicheji, and in Bosnia also Patarmiy and, apparently 
from a corrupted form of that word, Potur. 

* According to the Armenian Chronicle of Acogh'ig (iii. 20-22) the 
Czar Samuel himself embraced the Manichaenn religion. According to the 
legend of St. Vladimir his son Gabriel nnd his wife were Bogomiles. See 
ililferding, op. cit 

* Cited in Ililferding, op. cit. 


Empire. Towards the end of the same century the Bulgarian 
heretics, now under Byzantine rule, were hunted down 'by 
the orthodox Emperor. The Princess Anna Comnena ^ has left 
us an account of the persecution of the Bogomiles by her father 
Alexius. The Byzantine princess unblushingly relates the trap 
which the Emperor condescended to set for the chief apostle 
of the sect, at that time a certain Basil ; how he artfully led 
on the heresiarch by holding out hopes of conversion ; how 
he invited him to the imperial table, and in his closet wormed 
out of him the secrets of his sect ; and then, suddenly throwing 
aside the arras on the wall, revealed the scribe who had taken 
down the confession of his heresy, and beckoned to his appari- 
tors to throw his victim into irons. The account which Anna 
Comnena gives of this sect is valuable in spite of its scurrility. 
The princess calls the Bogomiles ' a mixture of Manichees and 
Massalians.' She laughs at their uncombed hair, their low 
origin,^ and their long faces, ' which they hide to the nose, and 
walk bowed, attired like monks, muttering something between 
their lips.' Basil himself was ' a lanky man, with a sparse beard, 
tall and thin.' From the account given of his confession we 
have intimations of a belief in the phantastic doctrine, and 
what was more shocking still, ' He called the sacred churches — 
woe is me ! — the sacred churches, fanes of demons ! ' When he 
saw himself betrayed by the Emperor, he declared that he would 
be rescued from death by ' angels and demons.' Anna Comnena 
would like to say more of this cursed heresy, ' but modesty keeps 
me from doing so, as beautiful Sappho says somewhere ; for 
though I am an historian, I am also a woman, and the most 
honourable of the purple, and the first offshoot of Alexius.' 
The ' most honourable of the purple,' however, feels no hesita- 
tion in describing the holocaust which her father made of all 
the Bogomiles he could catch, and more particularly the 
roasting of Basil. This delicately sensitive princess gloats over 
the preparations in the hippodrome, the crackling of the fire, 
the breaking out of poor human nature as the victim comes 

^ Alexiados, lib. xv. 

2 Though she afterwards admits that the heresy had infected high 


nearer to the scorching", the turning away of his eyes, and 
finally the quivering of his limbs. One asks, in amazement, 
whether any religion that has ever existed in the world has pro- 
duced such monsters of humanity as Christianity calling itself 
orthodox I 

It may readily be believed that these persecutions drove 
tlie Bogomiles to take refuge more and more in the Serbian 
regions, out of the way of the orthodox savagery of Byzantium. 
There were moreover reasons which diverted the current of 
heresy from that part of Serbia which became afterwards the 
nucleus of the Empire of the Nemanjas. The Serbian princes 
who ruled over the territory now occupied by old Serbia and 
INIontenegro were faithful sons of the orthodox church, and 
directed their utmost efforts to keep the shrine of St. Vladimir 
and the national patriarchate of Dioclea free from the con- 
tamination of Manichaeism. Thus a variety of causes combined 
to direct the course of the new movement to the Serbian races 
of Western lllyricum ; and in the twelfth century — the century 
immediately preceding the outbreak of Gnostic Puritanism in 
Western Europe — Bosnia had become the head-quarters of what 
we may now call the great Sclavonic Heresy. 

Thanks to the publication of many South-Sclavonic ar- 
chives, we are now in a position to arrive at the tenets of the 
Bogomiles, from native as well as from Byzantine sources ; and, 
as I hope to show, both the Grreek and Sclavonic accounts of the 
sect which now plays such an important part in Bosnian history 
harmonize to a very great extent. The best native account that 
we possess of the Bogomilian heretics is to be found in the works 
of a Bulgarian writer, one Presbyter Cosmas, who lived at the 
end of the tenth century, just at the period when the heresy 
was striking root among the Serbs and Bosniacs, and who wrote 
(in his native tongue) two of his most important works against 
the Bogomiles — whom he considers ' worse and more horrible 
than demons ! ' * 

* One, Slow na Eretikiy against the heretics ; and the other, Shvo o Cer- 
kovnom CtnUj on church government. The works of Cosmas are the only 
monuments cf Bulgarian literature dating from the epoch of Czar Samuel. 
The passages relating to the Bogomiles are excerpted in Ililferding. 


One of the fundamental doctrines of the Bogomiles was, as 
has been already implied, the belief in two Principles of Grood 
and Evil. ' I hear,' says the worthy Presbyter Cosmas, ' many 
of our orthodox congregation ask, " Wherefore does Grod per- 
mit the Devil to exercise sway over man ? " Verily this is the 
first question which prepares the weak in belief for the recep- 
tion of the Manichgean heresy.' The Bogomiles satisfied^ their 
reason by supposing two conflicting self-existent principles of 
Grood and Evil. Matter and the visible world belong to the 
Spirit of Evil. ' Everything,' says Cosmas, ' exists, according to 
the Bogomiles, of the will of the Devil. The sky, the sun, the 
earth, men, churches, crosses, and all that is God's, they give 
over to the Devil.' The evil in the world is thus accounted for 
by supposing the Creation to be the work of the Evil One, and it 
consequently followed that the Bogomiles looked on the book 
of Grenesis and the other Mosaic writings as inspired by this 
e\ il Grod, or, as they knew him, Satanael. But beyond this 
visible world, of which they could see only the dark and melan- 
choly side, there existed, according to the Bogomiles, another, 
invisible, heavenly and perfect, the creation of the Spirit of 
Groodness and Light — Himself a perfect triune Being, from 
whom proceeded nothing incomplete or temporary. 

Cosmas distinguisiies, however, two branches of the Bogo- 
milian heretics. 

According to the earlier sect, dualism in its most uncom- 
promising form prevailed.^ According to a later offshoot of 
the Bogomiles, the Spirit of Grood had two sons, the elder 
of whom, Satanael, rebelled and created matter, and that to 
rescue the world thus created from the dominion of the Prince 
of Evil, Grod the Father sent down his younger son Christ to 
enable men to combat the Euler of this world. ^ Both sects, 

* Hilferding, op. cit. i., identifies this original sect with a division of 
the Bogomiles known as ' The Church of Dregovisce,' and the later with 
* the Church of Bulgaria.' These two Churches are among the thirteen 
Churches of the Cathari reckoned by the ItaHan Keniero Sacconi, a rene- 
gade member of that sect, in the thirteenth century. The two divisions are 
traceable in the Western heresies. 

"^ The statements of Cosmas with reference to the existence of these 



liowever, were agreed in accepting the Phantastic theory of the 
Incarnation. The antagonism between spirit and matter was 
too great to admit of the union of the two. The body of Christ 
was a phantom, left in the clouds at his ascension; and the 
Virgin was an angel and not the mother of Grod. 

Cosmas denies generally their belief in any of the books of 
the Old Testament or the Gospels ; but this does not agree with 
the circumstantial account of Euthymius Zygabenus, who from 
having been commissioned by the Emperor to extract the tenets 
of his sect from the Bogomilian heresiarch Basil, is certainly 
one of the best authorities. Further, it is disproved by the 
whole conduct of the Bogomiles, which, as Cosmas himself 
shows, was based on a too literal interpretation of the Gospels. 
According to Euthymius, ^ the Bogomiles accepted seven holy 
booksj which he enumerates as follows: — 1, the Psalms; 2, the 
Sixteen Prophets ; 3, 4, 5, and 6, the Gospels ; 7, the Acts of 
the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Apocalypse. So far, indeed, 
as the New Testament was concerned, they clung to the version 
of the orthodox Sclavic apostle, in which they altered not a 

Touching baptism again, accounts are contradictory. Har- 
menopulos says that the Bogomiles practised the rite, but did 
not attribute to it any perfecting ^ virtue. On the other hand, 
the most recent investigations into the observances of the Bogo- 
miles of Bosnia show that strictly speaking the rite did not exist 
among them at all, though they observed something analogous 
to it. Only adults could be admitted into the communion 
of the faithful ; and, after they had first qualified themselves for 
admission by prayer and fasting, the mystery of initiation was 

dualistic tenets among the Bogomiles are attested by the ' Synodic of Czar 
Boris,' already refeiTed to ; by Eutbymius Zygabenus, Tanoplia ; and, as re- 
gards the Bogomiles of Bosnia, by Kaphael of Volaterree, Geographia ; and 
by the recent researches of Raski. 

* Euthymius Zygabenus, Panoplia. 

* It is remarkable that the only Bogomilian version of the Gospels which 
has been preserved, a Bosnian Codex written in 1404, contains, in spite of 
its late date, most primitive forms of speech; proving the care with which 
the Bogomiles copied from their older manuscripts. See Danif5ic's account of 
the Bosnian Chval Codux in the Starine of the South-Sclavonic Academy, 
III. 1-140. Cited by Jirei^ek, op. cit. p. 177. =» reXfiovv. 


performed, not by water — for did not water jtself appertain to 
the evil realm of matter ? — but by the laying on of St. John's 
Grospel. Thus Cosmas is technically right in saying that the 
Bogomiles rejected baptism altogether, though it is probable 
that he was merely calumniating them when he added as a 
reason, that ' they are afraid of the children to be baptized ; 
and if by chance they see small children, they turn away from 
them as from carrion, and spit, and call them children of mam- 
mon, as being creations of the Devil;' still under the sway, 
that is, of the Evil Creator Spirit. As regards Bosnia, at any 
rate, this is a foul slander. So far were the Bosnian Bogomiles 
from spurning little children, that the instruction of the 
young was considered a work worthy of the most saintly of 
the sect. 

They were staunch opponents of the prevailing Mariolatry. 
' They pay no honour to the Mother of Grod.'^ 'As to the 
cross,' says the Presbyter, they say : ' Wherefore should we bow 
to that which dishonoured God ? ' and they ask further, ' if any 
man slew the son of a king with a bit of wood, how could this 
bit of wood be dear to the king ? ' ^ They considered it idolatry 
to bow down before the icons of saints. ' They further revile the 
ceremonies of the church and all church dignities, and they call 
orthodox priests blind Pharisees, and bay at them as dogs at 
horses.' ^ ' As to the Lord's Supper,' continues the Bulgarian 
champion of orthodoxy, ' they assert that it is not kept accord- 
ing to Grod's commandment, and that it is not the body of 
God, but ordinary bread.' * 

Their belief in the evilness of matter was productive, as such 
a belief always has been, of much asceticism ; which, if the con- 
current testimony of their enemies is to be believed, they carried 
at times to deplorable excesses. ' They show themselves,' says 
Cosmas, * strong ascetics, for they call the Devil the Creator of 
all things, and declare that it is his Commandment that men 

^ Cosmas, corroborated by the ' Synodic ' and Harmenopulos. 

^ For their aversion to the cross see also Euthymius, Panoplia, Anna 
Comnena, and IlarmenopulDs. See also p. 176. 

' Cosmas. Their aversion to images, churches, and a hierarchy, is borne 
out by the testimony of Euthymius and Anna Comnena. 

^ So too Anna Comnena and Euthymius. 


should take wives, eat flesh, and drink wine. Everything as it 
exists with us (the orthodox) is utterly rejected. They give 
themselves up to a celestial life, insomuch that they call married 
men and those living in the way of the world " Mammon's Chil- 
dren." ' The descriptions of Anna Comnena and the monk Cosmas 
bring before us the familiar Puritan type, as it has reproduced 
itself in all ages. They bowed their heads and groaned and 
pulled long faces, in the true Eoundhead style. * You will see 
heretics,' quoth Cosmas, ' quiet and peaceful as lambs without, 
silent, and wan with hypocritical fasting, who do not speak much 
nor laugh loud, who let their beard grow, and leave their person 

These descriptions of their enemies must, however, be taken 
with this reserve : they apply, as a rule, only to a small minority 
of the sect. The Bogomiles, like most ascetic sects, were divided 
into two castes : the simple believers, the Credentes of the 
West, who formed the large majority ; and ' the perfect,' or those 
who by a long course of asceticism had successfully mortified 
the flesh. In the thirteenth century, at the most blooming pe- 
riod of their history, among the millions of these sectaries were 
reckoned less than 4,000 of ' the perfect.' ^ These ' perfect ' 
called themselves in Bosnia Krstjani, dobri Bosniani, Svrsiteli^ 
' Christians,' that is, ' good Bosnians,' or ' the elect,' terms which 
reappear in a Eomance guise in Italy and the Languedoc. The 
'perfect' were clad like monks in long black gowns; they con- 
demned themselves to perpetual celibacy; they abjured wine, 
nor tasted aught but vegetables, fish, and oil ; they forsook 
the ' pomps and vanities of this wicked world,' and gave them- 
selves up to devotion and good works. The women (for this 
saintly minority included both sexes) taught children or 
tended the sick, while the men acted as the spiritual guides of 
their weaker brethren or preached the Gospel among un- 

But it stood to reason that the great bulk of the Bogo- 
milian flock could never attain to this higher standard. In the 
abstract, no doubt, the simple ' believer ' accepted the doctrine 
which his spiritual guides were careful to instil into him, that 

* llttciki (in Jirecek, op. cit.) 


lis soul was an angel fallen from above and fettered in the 
prison-house of his body, and that only by perpetual mortifica- 
tion of the flesh could he hope to set the celestial captive free 
at last. But the laws of nature and society are perpetually 
holding back religious extravagance from its logical conse- 
quences, and the simple 'believer' was content to govern him- 
self by the more ordinary standard of mankind. As in Provence 
and Italy, so in Bosnia, he dispensed himself from the prohibi- 
tion against drinking wine ; and though the ' perfect ' refused to 
bear arms and preached against war as devilish, the mass of the 
heretics, Sclavonic as well as Eomance, showed that on occasion 
they could measm'e swords with the most orthodox. Though 
marriage was contrary to their tenets, the Bogomiles took wives, 
the man, however, in Bosnia only taking the woman on the 
condition that she was good and true to him, reserving the 
right of dismissing her if he thought her conduct unsatis- 
factory ; an arrangement productive of laxity, and giving 
occasion to the orthodox adversary of which he was not 
slow to take advantage.^ Yet, though in his manner of life 
falling short of the extreme asceticism of 'the perfect,* the 
ordinary Bogomile, on the showing of his enemies themselves, 
distinguished himself by his superior industry and thrift, and 
put to shame the saintly idleness of more orthodox professors by 
refusing to neglect his work on feast-days. Among the Bogo- 
miles, beggars were looked on with contempt.^ The ' perfect ' 
themselves abhorred what was slothful in a monastic life, and 
the ' heresiarch ' Basil set a good example by earning his 
living as a doctor, The simple believer devoted part of the 
worldly goods thus acquired to the relief of sick and indigent 
brothers, and also to the support of Grospellers among un- 
believers, but neither his industry nor his good works could 
satisfy his conscience. The higher life of the 'perfect' was a 
perpetual reproach to him. His soul seemed clotted with the 

^ Thus Pope Gregory XI. writes in 1376: ' Cum Bosnenses uxores ac;ci- 
piant cum condicione, si eris bona, et intentione dimittendi, quando sibi 
videbitur ' (MS. of the South Sclavonic Academy, cited in Jirecek, op. cit, 
p. 183). 

"^ Cosmas is again slanderous when he says that the Bogomiles begged 
from door to door. 


contagion of a too sensual existence, nor did his theology allow 
him a purgatory for the imbodied and imbruted spirit. Stand- 
ing on the threshold of another world, and forced to choose 
between heaven and hell, the simple ' believer ' considered it 
essential to his salvation that he should be admitted into the 
ranks of the ' perfect ' by a death-bed ceremony of initiation, 
which reappears as la Convenenza ^-mong the more Western 
Patarenes of Italy and Provence, 

The Bogomiles, in spite of their hatred of orthodox priests 
and temples, possessed ministers and even conventicles of their 
own. In the earliest accounts that have reached us we find at 
the head of the sect an elder or teacher surrounded by twelve 
disciples, answering to Christ and the Apostles. The half 
legendary accounts of the ' pope ' Bogomil surround him with 
such disciples ; and Basil ' the heresiarch ' has his twelve. But 
as the Bogomiles spread beyond the limits of Bulgaria, each 
new province, if we may so term it, added to the dominion of the 
faithful, required a new elder or bishop. At the head of the 
Bogomilian flock in Bosnia stood a Djed or elder, answering to 
the Episcopus or Senior of the Albigensians, and under him 
came the Apostles, the Strojniks (Western Magistri), of which 
there were two grades, the Gosti and the Starchy who again re- 
appear as the Filii and Diaconi of Italy. But there was no 
hierarchy, and nothing at all answering to a papacy ; * the ec- 
clesiastical officers were simply the representatives of the con- 
gregation, and were chosen by their votes.' ^ Every one who 
ranked among the * perfect,' whether a man or woman, had the 
right of preaching. 

Although in some parts the Bogomiles seem to have had no 
recognized place of worship, and performed their devotions in 
their own huts, or on some lonely heath beneath the open 
canopy of heaven, we have yet sufficient evidence, both 
Byzantine and Sclavonic, that they often possessed meeting- 
houses of their own. Their churches, according to Epiphanius, 
were like boats turned keel uppermost, but some were of a more 
ecclesiastical form. It appears that in Bosnia, as in the Lan- 
guedoc, their prayer-houses were plain sheds without tower, or 
bells, which they called the trumpets of demons, — devoid of orna- 
' Jirei^ek, op. cit. p. 180. 


ment or icons, containing neither chancel nor altar, but a simple 
table covered with a clean white linen cloth, on which was laid a 
copy of the GrospelsJ Here they assembled by torchlight and 
sang hymns of their own, called by the Greek writer ' Euphe- 
mies.' Their service chiefly consisted of prayer, which according 
to their creed was the only means of resisting the demon within 
them, or of attaining salvation. The Lord's Prayer was the only 
form used by them, and this they repeated in their own house 
with closed doors, five times every day and five times every night.'^ 
Such are some of the main features of the Bogomilian heresy, 
as they have come down to us, to a great extent, from the writings 
of their bitterest opponents. Nor will anyone marvel that these 
doctrines should have spread as they did among those Sclavonic 
races, who acted as the missionaries of the first Eeformation in 
Western Europe. It can hardly be considered fanciful if we detect 
certain remarkable analogies between the belief and observances 
of the Bogomiles and the primitive institutions, and even the 
heathen religion, of the Sclaves. It has already been mentioned 
that the Manichaean conversion began among the Bulgarians when 
they were still to a great extent pagan. The same is true with 
regard to the spread of the Bogomilian heresy among the Serbs, 
with whom heathendom held its own in parts till the thirteentli 
centuiy.^ A remarkable uniformity presents itself in the lan- 
guages, beliefs, and institutions of all Sclavonic nations ; and if 
we may assert, from the analogy of the Baltic Sclaves, that the 

^ Jirecek, op, cit. p. 181. 

* So Cosraas, ' At the fifth time, however, they have the door open.' 
According to Euthymius, who also bears witness to the Paternoster being 
their only form, they prayed five times during the day and seven at night. 
Euthymius (see also Epiphanius) says that they prayed also to demons to 
avert evil, and that Basilius, their heresiarch, declared that in their gospels 
was the text, * Worship demons, not that they may do good to you, but that 
they may not do you harm.' On this charge of devil-worship, however even 
Cosmas is silent. 

^ This is illustrated by the missionary work of St. Sava in that century. 
At the end of the ninth century the Narentines, living in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Spalato and Ragusa, the two focuses of Roman Christianity, 
were still unconverted, and their country, according to Constantine Porphy- 
rogenitus, was still known as Pagania. See p. 367. How much more must 
this have been the case with the inland districts of Bosnia ! 


Bulgarians and Serbs also divided their worship between their 
Black Grod or Spirit of Evil, and their White Grod or Spirit of 
Good, it follows that the Manichaean missionaries found the 
dualistic theology, which lies at the bottom of so much of their 
doctrine, already existing among the people they wished to 
convert ; * while the propagandists of orthodoxy must have dis- 
covered to their vexation that the Sclavonic mind had been 
trained by superstition, as well as by what mother-wit it pos- 
sessed, to rebel against their stupendous dogma, that an All- 
powerful Spirit of Good could create and tolerate the Spirit of 
Evil. Our Presbyter Cosmas notices that this difficulty pre- 
sented itself, even to the * orthodox ' Bulgarians, and so lost 
is he in indignation at these profane inquiries as to the devil's 
paternity, that he forgets to answer them. 

An equally marked parallel is presented between the customs 
and church government, if the expression is allowable, of the 
Bogomiles, and the primitive institutions of the Sclaves. Their 
Presbyters answer to the Sclavonic Staresdna, the elders of 
the primitive family-community. The Communistic doctrines 
which these heretics discovered in the New Testament fitted 
in well with the equality and fraternity of the Sclavonic 
home-life. They were essentially levellers, and their evangelic 
religion was mixed up, as among the Puritans of Western 
Europe, with political insurgency. In Bulgaria we seem to 
trace, in the opposition of the Bogomiles to the powers that 
be, an alliance between them and the champions of the Scla- 
vonic democracy against the usurpations of the Ugrian dynasty 
and nobles. ' They rail,' says Cosmas, ' at the magistrates 

^ I find that this explanation of the rapid advance of the Manichaean 
heresy among the Sclaves has suggested itself, quite independently, to Herr 
Jire^ek in his recent history. He says ( Gesch der Buhjaren^ p. 175) : * Es 
war fUr Bogomil keine schwere Aufgabe, das uuliingst erst dem Ileiden- 
thiiine entiiickte Volk fiir eine Glaubenslehre zu gewinnen, welche, gleich 
dem alten slawisehen Myth us von den Bosi und Besi, lehrt dass es zweierlei 
hiihere Wesen gebe, nanilich einen guten und einen bosen Gott.' Herr Jirecek, 
however, seems to forget that Armenian missionaries were at work in Bul- 
garia considerably before even the reputed date of Bogomil. If we remember 
that at the time when Manicljajism tirst sought a footing among the Bulga- 
rians a great part of the nation wiis still pagan, these considerations become 
still muro cogent. 


and boljars (or nobles j, and hold it a crime to do service 
for the Czar. They say, moreover, to every servant that he 
should not serve his master.' The Bogomiles, it must be re- 
membered, become a political power in Bosnia just at the time 
when the ' elders ' and Zupans, who represented the free insti- 
tutions which the Sclavonic settlers brought with them, are 
bowing before the Bans and a new, semi-feudal, nobility. 

By the beginning of the twelfth centmy the Bogomilian 
heresy had struck such firm root in Bosnia as to rouse the faith- 
ful sons of the Church in Hungary and Dalmatia to armed op- 
position, insomuch that in 1138 Bela II. was induced to make 
an incursion against the ' Patarenes,' in the country between the 
Cetina and Narenta.^ It was not, however, till the end of this 
century that the progress of heresy in other parts turned 
the Pope's serious attention to the fountain-head of the 
'Bulgarian heresy,' then undoubtedly his Illyrian province. 
Nominally, Bosnia had long belonged to the Church of Kome, 
which claimed Western lUyricum as an inheritance from the 
Western Empire. Practically, what orthodox Christianity Bosnia 
and the other Serbian lands possessed was of a strongly national 
character, and derived, not from Roman sources, but from the 
missionary efforts of the Sclavonic apostles, Cyril and Metho- 
dius.2 But the Church of Bosnia, though using the native 
liturgy and eschewing the Latin language, acknowledged some 
allegiance to Rome, and the bishops of Bosnia recognized the 
Archbishop of Salona^ as their metropolitan. In the year 
1180 Culin himself is still considered a dutiful son of the 
Church. But a few years later Culin ' has degenerated from 
himself ' and fallen into heresy, and together with his wife ^ and 
his sister, the widow of the Count of Chelm, had given ear to the 
Patarenes, as Roman ecclesiastics begin to call the Bogomiles 
who have now spread their heresy into Italy and the West. 

^ See Schimek, Pol. Gesch. des Koniyreichs Bosnien n. Rama, p. 36. 

* This is Hilferding's conclusion. 

' Or Spalato. Ragu^a also laid claim to be the Metropolitan Church of 
Bosnia in Culin's time. 

■* Culin had married a sister of Stephen Nemanja of Serbia, whose Bogo- 
milian opinions were notorious before her marriage. See Schimek, op. cit. 
p. 48. 


The Pope, exerting pressure on Culin by means of the King of 
Hungary, had the satisfaction of seeing him recant in person at 
Eome.^ But a few years later, in 1199, the Prince of orthodox 
Zenta, which we may almost translate Montenegro, informs the 
Pope by letter that Culin has relapsed into his errors, and that 
ten thousand of his subjects are already infected with the 
heresy.^ A little later, we hear that Daniel, the bishop of 
Bosnia himself, has joined the Patarenes, who shortly after 
destroyed the orthodox-Eoman Cathedral and Episcopal palace 
at Crescevo. From this time begins an ominous interregnum in 
the Roman Episcopate of Bosnia. 

It was in vain that the Pope appealed to the King of Hungary 
to punish his heretic vassal. Culin was now too strong to fear even 
the Hungarian arms ; and at the very period when the hordes of De 
Montfort were devastating Provence, the Banat of Bosnia offered 
an asylum to persecuted adherents of the Bulgarian heresy 
throughout Europe. This is hardly the place to show how essen- 
tially the first Protestants of Western Europe, the Bulgares as they 
are called by orthodox writers of the age, were spiritual children 
of the Sclavonic Bogomiles. The history of the Patarenes and 
Albigenses of Italy and Provence, of the ' Ketzers ' ^ of the Lower 
Rhine, who made their way even to our shores, lies of course 
beyond the scope of this essay. Word for word, nearly all that 
has been, with some pains, collected here, from Byzantine, 
Bulgarian, and Bosnian sources, regarding the tenets of the more 
Eastern heretics, might be paralleled by citations from Latin 
chronicles,'* touching those who broke the harmony of West- 
em Christendom. Enough if, while describing the belief and 

* This we learn from a letter of the Apostolic Legate of Alexander HI., 
then in Dalmatia, directed * Nobili et potenti viro Culin Bano Bosniae.' The 
Legate writes to say that he is in very good favour with the Pontiff; that 
he would like for himself a couple of slaves and a pair of martens' skins ; and 
* if you have anything to signify to the Pontiff we will benignantly listen 
to it.' (I) 

^ Farlati, Episcopi Bosnenses. (In his lUynctim Sa<TU7n^ t. iv. p. 4.').) 
^ The German word * Ketzer ' is derived from ' Cathari, another name 
for the sect. 

* As an example of the doctrinal identity of the Bogomilian and Albi- 
genaian creeds, I may be allowed to recall a few main features of the heresy 
about Touloube aa they struck th(^ Roman Inquisitors in 1178. The heretics, 


observances of the Bogomiles in Bosnia and Bulgaria, we have 
alluded, here and there, to such striking similarities in the 
details of church ministration and observances as show that the 
more Western sectaries clung to their original Bulgarian model 
in its minutest particulars. The doctrinal differences them- 
selves which afflicted the more Western offshoots of the heresy 
had, as we have seen, their roots in a Bulgarian, perhaps an 
Armenian, soil.^ Bulgarian elders sat in Proven 9al synods, 
Proven 9al bishops consulted with Bosnian Djeds on matters of 
faith. To the orthodox Sclave or Byzantine, there were only 
Bogomiles in the Languedoc, and the Eomish hierarchy named 
the heretics of Bosnia from a suburb of Milan.^ ' The believers 
of the plains of Lombardy and the South of France,' to quote 

•we are told, declared that there were two Principles : one Good Spirit, who 
had created invisible things alone, and only those that were not susceptible of 
change and corruption ; the other Evil, who had created the sky, earth, man, 
and all things visible. That the sacramental bread and wine were not tran- 
substantiated into the body and blood of Christ. That they rejected priests, 
monks, bishops, and sacerdotalism generally. That churches were an abomi- 
nation to them. That the laying on of hands, and that, on adults, was the 
only true baptism. As to marriage — * virum cum uxore non posse salvari si 
alter alteri debitum reddat.' That beggars deserved no alms. That they 
made use of the vernacular in their prayers : they were so ignorant of Latin 
^ that they could not speak a couple of words.' * It was necessary,' saysthe 
Cardinal of St. Chrysogonus, < to condescend to their ignorance, and to speak 
of the sacraments of the Church, though this was sufficiently absurd, in the 
vulgar tongue.' Their preachers seem to have styled themselves, in the 
figurative language common to the Bogomiles as well, ' Angels of Light.' 
The Abbot of Clairvaux states that one of them, doubtless in the same figu- 
rative sense, called himself John the Baptist. This man, their chief 
leader, was an aged man, who presided at the nocturnal prayer-meetino-s of 
the sectaries, clad in a tunic or dalmatic. See Bor/er of Hoveden\<i Chronicle, 
(Prof. Stubbs's edition, in the Rolls Series, vol. ii. p. 153, &c.) 

^ Of the two divisions of the original Bulgarian Church, that of Drago- 
vice, with its more uncompromising dualism, was followed in the West by 
the Churches of Toulouse and Albano on the Lake of Garda. The other 
Western Churches accepted the modified monotheism of what was known 
as * The Bulgarian Church ' pai- excellence. This was in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. At an earlier period, however, the absolute dualism of the Dra"-ovi- 
cian Church had triumphed at the heretical Council of St. Felix de 
Caraman, near Toulouse. See Jirecek, op. cit. p. 213. 

2 <■ Patarenes,' the name by which the Bogomiles of Bosnia and other 
Sclavonic lands are always called by Poman writers, was derived from 
' Pataria,' a suburb '^f Milan where heresy first raised its head in Italy. 


the words of the recent Bohemian historian of Bulgaria, ' kept up 
a regular intercourse with their co-religionists in the Byzantine 
Empire, Bosnia and Bulgaria, and long before the capture of 
Constantinople by the Crusaders or the Turks, a mighty but 
secret interchange of thought was at work between East and 
West; ' 

It was during the reign of Culin that this gi*eat Puritan 
movement attained its widest dimensions, and it is from a con- 
temporary of his, the Italian Eeniero Sacconi, who from a 
heretic became an inquisitor, that we obtain the most satis- 
factory evidence as to the organization of this early Protestant 
Church, and the solidarity of its various members, Sclavonic, 
Greek, Romance, and Teutonic. The Church of the Cathari, as 
he calls them, numbered then as many as thirteen bishoprics, 
amongst which that of Bosnia or ' Slavonia ' was not the least 
important. By Culin's time, the Bogomilian missionaries had 
succeeded in disseminating their Armenian doctrines from Phil- 
ippopolis to Bordeaux, and had formed, if we may so term it, a 
middle kingdom of their own — a Lotharingia of heterodoxy, ex- 
tending in an unbroken zone through the centre of orthodox 
Europe, from the Black Sea to the Atlantic. Nay, the ark of 
the faithful, borne northwards and westwards on the free bosom 
of the Rhine, had crossed the Channel, and penetrated, as it were 
by our great English river, to the seat of English learning ; and 
at the very time when Protestant Christendom looked to the 

* Jire(iek, loc. cit. The Armenian influence on Bulgaria and Bosnia, and 
the Bogomilian influence on the West, is connected with the spread of a 
curious heretical literature, derived from Oriental sources ; of phantastic 
Apocrypha and spurious Gospels, as well as of works of Oriental magic, Avhich, 
disseminated by the more corrupt adherents of the sect, entered into the 
mediaeval mythology of the West, and have still left their traces on its folk- 
lore as well as on that of the Russians, Bulgarians, and Serbs. Jirecek cites, 
among other such works, the favourite Bulgarian legend of St. John Bogos- 
lov, containing a vision of the Dies irse, which was brought from Bulgaria 
in 1170 by Nazarius, bishop of the Upper Italian Patarenes, and translated 
by him into Latin. Another such work is the account of the wanderings of 
the Mother of God in hell ; but perhaps the most interesting of all, and 
one which in its origin seems to be almost purely Sclavonic, is the account 
— reflecting the primitive Sclavonic custom of the ' Pohratiimiix/ — of how the 
Sirmian Emperor, Probus, made Christ his sworn brother. 


Ban of Bosnia as its chief protector, his Angevin contemporary, 
our Henry II., was branding Pauli clans at Oxford.* 

Kapid and astonishing as was the spread of these Oriental 
doctrines through Latin Christendom, there seems no difficulty 
in accounting for it when we remember the missionary zeal 
•which the Sclavonic Bogomiles had inherited from their Arme- 
nian teachers, and which led them, as we have seen, to set apart 
funds for the support of Grospellers among unbelievers. The 
same impulses which planted an Armenian faith among the 

^ Radulphi de Coggeshale, Chronicon Anglicanum (in the Rolls Series, 
p. 121, &c.) The name ' Jhihlicam/ by which the Essex chronicler alkides to 
them, is a common name for the Bogomiles in the West, and is, of course, a 
corruption of Pauliciani, or, perhaps, of a Sclavonic form of that word. The 
heretics seem to have spread to England from Flanders, where they were 
much oppressed by the Count. From the fragmentary derails which Ralph 
has given us, they seem to have preserved their Bogomilian faith in a very 
pure form. They believed in the Two Principles and the evilness of matter, 
rejected Purgatory, prayers for the dead, invocation of saints, infant baptism, 
and accepted no scriptures but the Gospels and Canonical Epistles. Some went 
so far as to charge them (as Euthymius had done long before) with pray- 
ing to Lucifer in their subterranean meeting-houses. They were ' rusticani,' 
and therefore not amenable to the argument of authority; by which, I sup- 
pose, the preference of the early Protestants for the vtdyar tongue is alluded 
to. They observed a vegetable diet, and condemned marriage. From a 
shameless relation of Gervase of Tilbury which Ralph reports, it appears 
that there were holy women of the sect under vows of perpetual chastity. 
Gerva<e himself, a clerk of the Archbishop of Rheiras, coolly related to his 
monkish friend, who chronicled the story with pleasing gusto, how, having 
failed to seduce a beautiful country girl, he perceived her heresy, accused her 
successfully of being a ^ Publican ' before the Inquisition, and feasted his 
eyes with her dying agonies at the stake. Girl though she was, she died 
without a groan, * instar,' as even the monk cannot refrain from adding, 
* martyrum Christi (sed dissimili causa) qui olim pro Cliristiana religione a 
paganis trucidabantur.' The tragedy, even as told by Ralph, is of an in- 
tense pathos, and deserves immortalising. How beautiful is that innocence 
and how unutterable the villainy which provokes an under-current of 
humanity even in a monkish narrator ! After relations like this, the conduct 
of Henry II. to the Oxford * Publicans ' will appear almost merciful : he 
merely gave orders that they should be branded on the forehead with a red- 
hot key and thrust forth from the city, and that nobody should give them 
food or shelter. The notices of the Publicani, Albigenses, and other Bogo- 
milian sects who gained a footing in England, both by way of Flanders and 
Guienne, never seem to have attracted the attention they deserve from 
English historians. Yet the hatred born by the orthodox against these Bul- 
garian intruders has added a word of reproach to the language. 


Sclaves are sufficient to account for the success with which the 
new converts acclimatized what was now a Sclavonic faith 
amongst Greeks and Latins. It is certain that the Bulgarian 
propaganda made use of existing trade-routes by land and sea. 
This indeed is not the place to enquire what part Bulgaria and 
what part Bosnia, what part the Save, the Danube and the 
Rhine, the Po or the Adige, the commercial currents of the 
Adriatic and the Mediterranean — what part Durazzo and the 
Egnatian Way, what part Byzantium and Byzantine Lower Italy, 
may have severally and collectively played in conveying the 
Bogomilian heresy to Toulouse,^ Milan and Cologne. On the 
whole the Bosnian influence may be regarded as later and 
secondary. It is probable that the first wave of propagandism 
was almost entirely Bulgarian, and followed in the wake of Grreek 
merchantmen. The great part played by Bosnia was rather 
that of asylum for the persecuted, and promoter of the faith, in 
days when heresy liad been stamped out elsewhere with fire and 
sword. We have, however, precise data as to the Bogomilian 
religion having been communicated to Dalmatia through com- 
mercial relations with the interior of Bosnia,^ and doubtless, 
just as the Bulgarians, the South-Easternmost of the Sclavonic 
races of the Balkan peninsula, first received their Manichaean 
Puritanism from Armenia and the East, so the Bosnians, the 
North-Westernmost ' of the Balkan Sclaves, played at least a 
part in first communicating it to Europe and the West. 

It is from the pen of a St. Alban's monk, and a letter of a 
bishop of Poito, that we gain the most convincing testimony as to 
the influence which, in the palmy days of Ban Culin,and the period 
immediately succeeding, was exercised by Bosnia in directing 
the great Protestant movement in Western Europe. Matthew 

* Nor is this the place to enquire how far, in the Languedoc at all events, 
the spread of these doctrines may have been aided by survivals of an earher 
Gnosticism. What, for example, became of those Gnostici who had es- 
tablished themselves in the end of the fourth century in Spain and parts of 
the south of Gaul ? (See Sulpicius Severus, Sacres //w^onV?, lib. ii.) 

* By means of tvro merchants of Zara, Matthew and Aristodius, who 
brought the Patarene doctrines from Bosnia to Spalato. Thomas Archidia- 
conus, c. 24, quoted in Wilkinson's Dalmatia. 

' With the exception of the Croats, who perhaps hardly came under the 
denomination of Balkan Sclaves. 


Paris ' relates that the Albigensians of Provence and Italy pos- 
sessed a pope of their own, who resided in Bosnia.^ This man cre- 
ated a vicar ' in partibus Grallianim.' The vicar of this Bosnian 
anti-pope, who resided at Toulouse, granted him some lands at a 
place called Porlos, and the Albigensian heretics betook themselves 
to their Bosnian pope to consult him on divers questions of faith. 
Matthew Paris and Ralph of Coggeshale are certainly wrong 
in converting this Bosnian elder into an anti-pope, and his vicar 
into the parody of an orthodox bishop,^ hierarchy of any sort 
being, as we have seen, alien to the spirit of the Bogomilian as 
well as to the Albigensian sectaries. Yet it is quite possible 
that a kind of informal primacy was at this time accorded to 
the Bosnian Djed^ and he may have fulfilled such moderating 
functions, as interpreter in matters doctrinal, as seem to have 
devolved, a century before, on the ' heresi:irch ' Basil. The fact 
that this vicar had been originally sent to the Albigenses by the 
Illyrian ' antipope ' is a convincing proof of the direct mission- 
ary connection between Bosnia and Provence, and the whole 
incident shows that in the thirteenth century the Western 
heretics still looked to the Slavonic East for the sources of tnie 

It was in vain that on Culin's death the King of Himgary 
appointed a Catholic Ban Zibisclave. It was in vain that 
in 1216 the Pope sent the sub-deacon Aconcius to labour at 
the conversion of the heretics. The Bogomiles only gained 
strength, and their faith struck firmer roots in the neighboiu-ing 
coimtries of Croatia, Dalmatia, Istria, Camiola, and Slavonia. 
But Rome, in the Albigensian crusades, had already tasted Chris- 

^ Hist. Maj. ad attnum 1223 (Rolls Series, vol. iii. p. 78) ; and com- 
pare Ralph of Cogg^eshale's account (Rolls Series, p. 195). Jirecek (op. cit. 
p. 214) refers to a diploma of Innocent IV. in 1244, which reveals an inter- 
course hetween Bosnia and the Waldenses — he cites Palacky and Brandl in 
the Cas. matice moravsk^, 1, 2. 

^ His residence is fixed as 'on the borders of the Hungarians and 
between the limits of Bulgaria, Croatia, and Dalmatia,' which indicates the 
position of Bosnia with sufficient exactitude. 

^ The style of Bartholomew, the vicar of the Roman antipope, was, ac- 
cording to Matthew Paris, ' servus servorum sanctfe fidei ; ' according to 
Ralph of Coggeshale, 'servus servorum hospitalis sanctae fidei.' Ralph 
writes * Poios ' instead of ' Porlos.' 



tian blood, and resolved to have recourse to the same weapons 
in Bosnia which she had employed so efficaciously in Provence. An 
Archbishop of Colocz was at hand to play the part of the Abbot 
of Citeaux. In 1222 he entered Bosnia at the head of an Hun- 
garian host, and used the sword with such good effect that he had 
shortly possessed himself of the provinces of ' Bosna, Ussora, and 
Soy.' Zibisclav, who had defected from the true faith, saw him- 
self reduced to abjure his errors and to fling himself at the toes 
of St. Peter, and the Pope was graciously pleased ' to embrace 
sincerely in the arms of his charity both his person and his 
lands, and all the goods that he at the present possessed.' ^ But 
Zibisclav's subjects were not inclined to follow the example of 
their Ban. On the contrary, they hardened their hearts, and in 
the very year, 1233, in which this fond embrace took place, a 
Bogomilian ' pope ' or bishop continued to flourish and exercise 
a powerful authority in Bosnia. A new crusade was necessary. 
Coloman, the brother of the King of Hungary,^ was the De Mont- 
fort of the occasion, and in 1238 entered Bosnia with a large army 
to exterminate the heretics. He extended his havoc through the 
whole country, and even ' purged,' we are told, the principality of 
Chelm, which answers to the south-western part of the Herzegovina. 
From this period onwards the history of Bosnia for centuries 
consists of little more than a series of such bloody inroads ; but 
there are here none of those details which secure for the heretics 
of Alby the commiseration of mankind. Cities are sacked, but 
there is not here a Beziers or Carcassonne ; the first germs of a 
civilization are trodden under foot, but these are not the full- 
blown roses of Provence ; troubadours of a kind there doubtless 
were here, too, but it was in barbarous Sclavonic tongue, and 
not in the polished Langue' d'Oc that they poured forth * their 
unpremeditated lay,' and the sound of their lyre died away among 
the mountains that gave them birth.^ J 

* Raynaldus, Annal. Eccles. sub anno 1233. 

* The Prince himself is described as * King of the Ruthenians, and Ban 
of Sclav onia.' See Farlati, op. cit. and SpicHegium Ohservationum His- 
torico-Geographicamm de Bosnia Jiegtto, Lugd. Bat. 1737. 

* Yet the historian of Latin Christianity might have spared a line to 
chronicle the struggles and sutt'erings of these early Protestants of Bosnia, 
tt> whom even the cultured sous of Provence turned for spiritual guidance. 



Gregory IX. congratulates Coloman on ' wiping out the 
heresy and restoring the light of Catholic purity,' * but the 
Pope was quick in discovering that these congratulations were 
premature. The Tartar invasion which in 1241 weakened 
Hungary was the strength of the Bogomiles of Bosnia. Nor, 
perhaps, did the slaughter of Ban Zibisclav and many of his 
bravest adherents by the horde of Khan Ugadai much affect 
the subjects whose creed and interests he had deserted. In 
1246 Pope Innocent IV.^ had to stir up a third Bosnian cru- 
sade, the conduct of which was entrusted to the Archbishop of 
Colocz — ' a man skilled,' as was fitting in an archbishop, ' in all 
the science of war.' He received a cross from the Pope to fix 
upon his heart, and aided by the King Bela, of Hungary, re- 
newed the pious work. Many heretics were butchered, others 
were cast into dungeons; and so great were considered the 
deserts of the archbishop, that the Pope transferred the church 
of Bosnia from Spalato to Colocz. But once more it was dis- 
covered that fire and sword had raged in vain. Heresy continued 
to be so rampant in Bosnia that from 1256 the episcopate of 
Bosnia, which had been renewed after the first crusade, lapses a 
second time.* The papacy next resorted to persuasion, the more 
so as during the last part of the thirteenth century the Hun- 
garian suzerainty was becoming less and less binding on Bosnia. 
About the year 1260 the Minorite brothers of the order of St. 
Francis of Assisi were sent into Bosnia to aid the Dominicans, who 
had been already established here."* At the end of the thirteenth 
century Bosnia passed for a while under the overlordship of the 
Prince of Serbia, and Stephen Dragutine, who was favourable 
to the Roman church, allowed two Franciscan brothers to 
establish the Inquisition here in 1291.^ 

But at the beginning of the fourteenth century the Hun- 
garians had once more recovered their ascendency in Bosnia, 

^ Raynaldus, Annal. Eccles. s. a. 1238. 

^ Raynaldus, s. a. 1246. Ninosclav had succeeded Zibisclav as Ban. 

^ Farlati, Episcopi Bosnenses. 

* Under the Franciscan * Vicar of Bosna ' we now read of the following 
Custodies, viz. Dulmna, Greben, Bosna Civitas, Ussora, Machovia, Bulgaria, 
Corvinum, and Rascia. 

^ Farlati, Ep. Bosn. 




and the Pope eagerly seized the weapon of orthodoxy at his ser- 
vice. John XXII. directed two letters, one to Charles, King 
of Hungary, and the other to Stephen, Ban of Bosnia. The 
letters are almost identical in scope, and are interesting as 
showing that Bosnia was still the stronghold and asylum of 
European heresy, and as illustrating the peculiar character of 
these sectaries. The letter to the Bosnian Ban is dated Avignon, 
June 1325.^ ^To our beloved son and nobleman, Stephen, 
Prince of Bosnia,' — * Knowing that thou art a faithful son of 
the church, we therefore charge thee to exterminate the heretics 
in thy dominions, and to render aid and assistance unto Fabian, 
our Inquisitor, for as much as a large multitude of heretics, from 
many and divers parts collected, hath flowed together into the 
principality of Bosnia, trusting there to sow their obscene errors 
and to dwell there in safety. These men, imbued with the 
cunning of the Old P^iend, and armed with the venom of their 
falseness, corrupt the minds of Catholics by outward show of 
simplicity and lying assumption of the name of Christians ; 
their speech crawleth like a crab, and they creep in with hu- 
mility, but in secret they kill, and are wolves in sheeps' cloth- 
ing, covering their bestial fury as a means whereby they may 
deceive the simple sheep of Christ.' 

The true believers still need to be warned against the ap- 
parent meekness and innocence of these men of the gospel! 
His Holiness seems almost to be repeating the description of the 
Bogomiles given by the Bulgarian Presbyter over three centuries 
before. * When men,' says Cosmas, ' see their lowly behaviour, 
then think they that they are of true belief ; they approach 
them therefore and consult them about their souls' health. But 
they, like wolves that will swallow up a lamb, bow their head, 
sigh, and answer full of humility, and set themselves up as if they 
knew how it is ordered in heaven.' ^ Hypocritical meekness has 

* Waddingus, Annalea Minorum (Ed. Fonsecae), torn. vii. sub. anno 1325. 

* Presbyter Cosmas. Just the same account of the apparent innocence 
of the Bogomiles appears in Euthymius : * They bid those who listen to 
their doctrines to keep the commandments of the gospel, and to be meek 
and merciful, and of brotherly love. Thus they entice men on by teaching 
all good things and useful doctrine, but they poison by degrees and draw 
to perdition.' 


been a ready accusation in the mouths of opponents of puritan- 
ism in all ages ; but we may be allowed to see, in the slanders 
of foul-mouthed popes and prelates, a tribute to the evangelic 
purity of the lives of those whom they persecuted and traduced. 

Once more ' the Lilies of the Field,' as in their figurative 
parlance they loved to style themselves, are trampled under foot. 
In 1330 the King of Hungary and the Ban combined to 
assist the Inquisitor Fabian ; many heretics were hounded from 
the realm, and the usual scenes of horror were repeated. In 
1337, however, heresy is again as rampant as ever in Bosnia, 
and the Pope accordingly stirred up the neighbouring princes 
to another Bosnian crusade, which was only averted by the 
address of the Ban Stephen. 

Sometimes the monks condescended to work miracles to for- 
ward the work of conversion. Qne, while addressing a congrega- 
tion of heretics, ' stepped,' we are assured, ' into a large fire, and 
with great hilarity stood in the middle of the flames while he 
recited the fiftieth Psalm.' We hardly need the further assur- 
ance that many were turned from the eriror of their ways by 
miracles like this, especially when it is remembered that the 
heretics had the alternative of repenting, or repeating the ex- 

Nor were there wanting, we are told, miraculous tokens in 
the sky to manifest the displeasure of heaven itself at these 
scoffers at Catholic verity. The mountains whither the Bogo- 
miles had been driven by the pious zeal of Ban Stephen were 
struck by celestial fire. ' Upon the eve of St. Catharine, 1 367, 
a mighty heavenly flame appeared in the East, with an intense 
light terribly apparent to the whole globe. At that time they 
say that the loftiest mountains of Bosnia, with all rocks, cattle, 
wild beasts, and fowls of the air, were miraculously consumed, 
so that they were reduced to a plain ; and there dwell the 
Patarene Manichseans, and say that God burnt up those moun- 
tains for their convenience, because He loved their faith.' ^ In 
fact, neither the Bogomiles nor the new Ban Stephen Tvartko, 
who favoured them, seem to have been the least appalled by 
this phenomenon. Only two years after this miraculous confla- 

* Anonym. Acutheanus (in Farlati). 


gration, Urban V. writes to the King of Hungary to complain of 
the Ban of Bosnia, * who, following in the detestable footsteps 
of his fathers, fosters and defends the heretics who flow together 
into these parts from divers corners of the world as into a sink of 
iniquity.'^ The Bans of Bosnia, even when Catholics themselves, 
seem to have been forced by the strength of national feeling 
into an attitude at least of toleration towards the Bogomiles, 
and their position in this respect has been aptly compared by 
Hilferding to that of the Bulgarian Czars. 

During the troublous times of the Bosnian kingdom the 
Bogomiles increased in strength, and, what is extremely signi- 
ficant, the heretics of Bosnia begin to play a part in the revival 
of the Protestant movement throughout Europe. We do not 
know what part the Sclavonic heretics of Bosnia may have taken 
in preparing the minds of their Czechian brothers for the 
religious revolt of which Huss and Jerome of Prague were the 
leaders and exponents. But we do know that from the first 
intimate relations existed between the Bogomiles of Bosnia and 
the Hussites; in 1433 four Bogomilian or Patarene bishops 
made their way from Bosnia to the Council of Basil,^ and 
shortly after, in 1437, the Romish bishop Joseph complains 
that Bosnia was swarming with Hussites and other heretics. 
We have, moreover, very strong indirect evidence that the 
movement in Bosnia was at this time directed by men of learning 
and ability. In 1462 Pius II., being much alarmed at the 
progress of heresy in Bosnia, and ' hearing that there was a 
great want there of men skilled in philosophy, the sacred canons, 
and theology,' sent thither * learned men from the neighbouring 

* BAjneiiduBfAnnal. Eccles. sub anno 1369. The Franciscan Mission bad 
complained to the Pope of Tvartko the same year, as protector of the Pata- 
renes and * persecutor of that true son of the Church,' his brother, Stephen 
Wuk. In 1370 the Pope writes to the bishops of Ragusa, Spalato, and 
* Dirrhachio ' to put the Patarenes under ban. In 1372, from a letter of Pope 
Gregory XI. to the Vicar of the Minorites in Bosnia, we learn that, in 
view of the continuance of the heresy in Bosnia, Rascia, ' Bassarat,' and the 
neighbouring regions, he granted them many privileges of building religious 
houses in those countries ; ♦ Bourich, belonging to the noble Nicolas de Alto- 
manich ' in Rascia, and the ' Contrata de Glas ' in the dominion of the King 
of Hungary, being specified. Wtwldingus, Aunales Minorunif sub ani»o 1372. 

=* Farlati, £p. Bvstt. 



provinces/ and especially the brother Peter de Mili, a native of 
Bosnia, and four fellows. These five 'had studied in the best 
Cismontane and Transmontane Universities under the most 
learned doctors.' The Pope, moreover, gave orders that some 
of the largest convents should be converted into schools for 
literary studies.^ We may conclude with confidence that learn- 
ing was required in Bosnia to cope with learning. 

But the preparation of this polemic artillery was cut short 
by an event, the effects of which are evto now distracting 
Christendom. In the year following that in which his Holiness 
laments over the continued progress of heresy in Bosnia, the 
whole country passed in the short space of eight days irrevocably 
under the dominion of the Infidel. The continued crusades, 
the persecutions of the Inquisition — fire, sword, exile, and 
dungeon — had done their work. The Protestant population of 
Bosnia had at last deliberately taken its choice, and preferred 
the dominion of what it believed to be the more tolerant Turks 
to the ferocious tyranny of Catholic kings, magnates, and monks. 
There never was a clearer instance of the Nemesis which follows 
on the heels of religious persecution. Europe has mainly to 
thank the Church of Kome that an alien civilisation and religion 
has been thrust into her midst, and that Bosnia at the present 
day remains Mahometan. 

At the very moment when the Turks were threatening the 
existence of the Bosnian kingdom, the King, then Stephen 
Thomasevic, and priests, aided by the mag-nates and aristocratic 
party in the State, were pushing the persecution of the Bogo- 
miles to an extreme which perhaps it had never reached before. 
In the year 1459 King Stephen turned his feudal arms against 
the inoffensive Bogomiles at home, and hounded out as many, 
it is said,^ as forty thousand, who took refuge in the Herze- 
govina, with their co-religionist, the Duke of St. Sava. Others 
he sent in chains to Rome, where it appears they were ' be- 
nignantly converted ' — whatever that means. But the expulsion 
of forty thousand did little to diminish the strength of the 
Bogomiles in Bosnia. In 1462, as we know from the Roman 

* Waddingus, Annales Minorum, torn. xiii. sub. anno 1462. 

^ See Farlati, i);. Bosn. ; and Spicilegiumy &c. de Rcyno Bosnice. 


archives, heresy was as powerful as ever in Bosnia. Already, 
twelve years before,^ the Bogomiles had invited the Turks into 
Bosnia as their deliverers; in 1463 the invitation was repeated, 
a successful negotiation was opened with the 8ultan, and, on 
Mahomet II.'s invasion, the Catholic king found himself deserted 
by his people. The keys of the principal fortress, the royal city 
of Bobovac, were handed over to the Turk by the ' Manichsean ' 
governor ; ^ the other fortresses and towns hastened to imitate 
its example, and within a week ' seventy cities defended by 
nature and art ' passed into the hands of Mahomet. Bosnia, 
which may be described as one vast stronghold, refused to strike 
a blow in defence of her priestly tyrants. 

Perhaps enough has been said to show the really important 
part played by Bosnia in European history. We have seen her aid 
in interpreting to the West the sublime puritanism which the 
more Eastern Sclaves of Bulgaria had first received from the 
Armenian missionaries. We have seen her take the lead in the 
first religious revolt against Eome. We have seen a Bosnian 
religious teacher directing the movement in Provence. We have 
seen the Protestants of Bosnia successfully resisting all the 
efforts of Eome, supported by the arms of Hungary, to put 
them down. We have seen them offering an asylum to their 
persecuted brothers of the West, — Albigensians, Patarenes, and 
Waldenses. We have seen them connected with the Reforma- 
tion in Bohemia, and affording shelter to the followers of Huss. 
From the twelfth century to the final conquest of the Turks in 
the sixteenth, when the tight of religious freedom had been won 
in Northern Europe, Bosnia presents the unique phenomenon of 
a Protestant State existing within the limits of the Holy Ro- 
man Empire, and in a province claimed by the Roman Church. 
Bosnia was the religious Switzerland of Mediaeval Europe, and 
the signal service which she has rendered to the freedom of 

* Raynaldufl, Armed. Eccles. sub anno 1450. 

" Laonicus, de liebus Turc. lib. x. ; Gobelinus, lib. ii. ; and Johannes 
Leunclavius. The Sultan is said to have made use of the authority of the 
captured king to obtain the seventy cities, but the account given of the be- 
trayal of Bobovac shows that the Bogomiles were the real cause of the quick 


the human intellect by her successful stand against authority 
can hardly be exaggerated. Resistance, broken down in the 
gardens of Provence, buried beneath the charred rafters of the 
Roman cities of the Langue d'Oc, smothered in the dungeons of 
the Inquisition, was prolonged from generation to generation 
amongst the primeval forests and mountain fastnesses of Bosnia. 
There were not wanting, amongst those who sought to exter- 
minate the Bogomiles, Churchmen as dead to human pity as the 
Abbot of Citeaux, and lay arms as bloodthirsty as De Montfort ; 
but the stubborn genius of the Serbian people fought on with 
rare persistence, and held out to the end. The history of these 
champions of a purer religion has been written by their enemies, 
and ignored by those who owe most to their heroism. No 
Martyrology of the Bogomiles of Bosnia has come down to us. 
We have no Huss or Tyndale to arrest our pity. ' Invidious 
silence ' has obscured their fame, 


Urgent ur, i^notique longa 

Nocte, carent quia vate sacro. 

Protestant historians, fearful of claiming relationship with here- 
tics whose views on the Origin of Evil were more logical than 
their own, have almost or entirely ignored the existence of these 
Sclavonic Puritans. Yet of all worn-out devices of ad captandwrn 
argument this assuredly is the most threadbare, to ignore the tran- 
sitions of intervening links, and pointing to the extremes of a long 
concatenation of causes and effects, to seize upon their differences 
as a proof of disconnection. In the course of ages the develop- 
ment of creeds and churches is not less striking than that of more 
secular institutions. Bogomilism obeyed an universal law ; it 
paid the universal tribute of successful propagandism ; it com- 
promised ; or, where it did not compromise, it was ruthlessly 
stamped out. The Manichsean elements, most distasteful to 
modern Protestants, were in fact the first to disappear.^ In its 
contact with the semi-pagan Christianity of the West, the puri- 

^ I have already noticed the early branching off of a Bogomilian church 
which rejected Dualism pure and simple. Herr Jire^ek remarks this com- 
promising tendency, and observes that an Italian adherent of the sect, 
Giovanni di Lugio, taught the real humanity of Christ and accepted the Old 
Testament : while others conceded free will. 


tanism of the Gnostic East became, perforce, materialized ; just 
as, ages before, Christianity itself, an earlier wave of the same 
Eastern puritanism had materialized in its contact with the un- 
diluted heathendom of the Western empire. To a certain extent 
Bogomilism gained. It lost something of its dreamy transcenden- 
talism, something of its anti-human vigour, and by conforming to 
the exigencies of Western society, became to a certaia extent 
more practical. Thus by the sixteenth century the path had 
been cleared for a compromise with orthodoxy itself. The Refor- 
mation marks the confluence of the two main currents of religious 
thought that traverse the middle ages, in their several sources, 
Romish and Armenian. No doubt, from the orthodox side, 
which refused to reject all that was beautiful in the older world, 
which consecrated Grreco-Roman civilization and linked art 
with religion, the West has gained much ; but in days of gross 
materialism and degrading sacerdotalism, it has gained perhaps 
even more from the purging and elevating influence of these 
early Puritans. The most devout Protestant need not be afraid 
to acknowledge the religious obligations which he owes to his 
spiritual forefathers, Manichsean though they were ; while those 
who perceive in Protestantism itself nothing more than a step- 
ping-stone to still greater freedom of the human mind, and who 
recognize the universal bearings of the doctrine of Evolution, 
will be slow to deny that England herself and the most en- 
lightened countries of the modern world may owe a debt, which 
it is hard to estimate, to the Bogomiles of Bulgaria and Bosnia. 
After the Turkish conquest of Bosnia the history of the 
Bogomiles in those parts becomes obscure. That they still 
existed in the revived Banat of lower Bosnia we may gather 
from a passage in the ' Annals of the Minorites,' ^ to the effect 

* Waddingufl, Annates Minorum, sub anoo 1478. There is also a curious 
passage in Raphael of Volaterra, who appears to have written his Geographia 
towards the end of the fifteenth century. He says {Geog. p. 244, ed. Lyons, 
1699), ' In Bosnia, Rascia, and Serbia the sect of the Manichees is still fol- 
lowed. They say there are two Principta Hernm — one good, one evil. 
Nor do they acknowledge the Roman Pope, nor Christ " Omousimi" They 
have monasteries (coinobia) in hidden mountain valleys, where go matrons 
who have escaped from certain diseases.* These matrons say that for a cer- 
tain period they act as menials to holy men in accordance with a vow : * Atque 
ita inter monacbos mixta) una vivunt ; quuc quidem labes adhuc durat' 


that in 1478 the city of Jaycze was ' polluted by heretics and 
schismatics.' Many who had resisted the propaganda of Rome 
appear to have found in the iconoclastic puritanism of Islam a 
belief less incompatible with their own. We have direct evi- 
dence that it was the Bogomiles who chiefly swelled the ranks 
of the renegades. ^ Many, doubtless, when they found how hard 
were the masters they had called in, were provoked to their old 
attitude of resistance, and perished for their obstinacy. They 
are generally said to have died out, and the Bosnian monks of 
the order of St. Francis, who, in 1769, supplied the author of 
' Illyricum Sacrum ' with an account of the present state of 
that country, declare that there are no traces left of them. This, 
however, is not the case. During the recent insurrection, over 
2,000 Bogomiles from Popovo, a single district of the Herze- 
govina, took refuge in the hospitable territory of what was once 
the Republic of Ragusa.^ 

^ Besides the evidence on this point -which I have gathered from other 
sources, I may notice a most interesting allusion to the Bogomiles or Pata- 
renes who had turned renegades, and a direct testimony that they went over 
wholesale to Islam, in J. Bapt. Montalbano, Rerum Turcarum Commentainvs^ 
written certainly before the year 1630 (when it was published in the Elzevir 
Turd Imperii Status). After mentioning the Catholic inhabitant^, the writer 
goes on to say, * Est aliud eo in regno (sc. Bosnse) hominum genus Potur 
appellatum, qui neque Christiani sunt, neque Turcaj, circumciduntur tamen, 
pessimique habentur.' ' Potur ' is evidently a Sclavonised form of Patarene. 
The writer goes on to say of these ' Poturs ' that they, ' to the number of 
many thousand,' offered to renegade from the Christian faith to that of Ma- 
homet if Sultan Soliraan would grant them indemnity, and release them 
from tribute. Soliman, says the writer (a Bolognese Doctor), thereupon 
doubled their tribute, and enrolled their children among the Janissaries, 
and ' hence they are despised by both Turks and Christians.' But this 
whole account evidently bears witness to the wholesale renegation of the 
Bogomiles. Further on the same writer, who had visited the country, bears 
witness to the continuance of Protestantism in Turkish Bosnia in the six- 
teenth century. ' Eos inter/ says he, of the inhabitants, ' Calvinistse Ar- 
rianique multi.' 

^ I am indebted for this fact to Mr. W. J. Stillman, the excellent correspon- 
dent of the Times in the Herzegovina, who gives an account of these refugees 
in a letter from Ragusa dated Oct. 19, 1 875, which I may be allowed to quote 
as illustrating the more recent sufferings of this interesting sect, and the sad 
case of the Christian refugees of Bosnia and the Herzegovina generally. * The 
people of Popovo were tranquilly engaged in their fields and houses, when 
the troops— Regulars and Baahi-Bazouks-- came up j the latter killed the first 


To return to the more secular aspects of Bosnian history. 
Much still remains to be elucidated by Sclavonic historians with 
regard to the inner government of the country, the rise of the 
semi-feudal nobility, and the complicated relations of parties. 
Here it would be hopeless to attempt anything more than the 
merest outline, giving prominence only to a few episodes of 
general interest. The Hungarian overlordship is occasionally 
broken by a Serbian, and Stephen Diishan, who, in the middle of 
the fourteenth century, revived the Czardom among the Balkan 
Sclaves, seized the pretext of a claim on the Principality of 
Chelm to overrun Bosnia, and add its dominion to his titles. 
For an interesting monument of this period I may refer the 
reader to the account of the Book of Arms of Bosnian Nobility, 
drawn up in the year 1340 by order of the Serbian Czar, which 
we saw in the Franciscan Monastery of Foinica.^ 

But this Serbian suzerainty vanishes with the dreams of 

they came upon where they found them (one of them, the brother of a 
villager who had appealed successfully to the Pasha at Trebinje against the 
extortions of the Agas some months ago, being cut to pieces alive), and 
all the rest fled in panic. The good aire of Ossonich is doing all he can for 
them ; but there are only eighty-five houses in this village, and he has 2,125 
souls of the Popovites on his register for succour. Of these 300 were out on 
the mountain-side on the night of the worst storm we have had this season. 
One woman with a new-bom babe was so exhausted in her flight that she 
went to sleep, sitting on a rock nursing her child, fell off" in her sleep, and 
was found by one of the other peasants next morning still sleeping, with 
her babe at her bosom, in a pool of water which had fallen during the 
storm. The cure tells me that these people are mainly Bogomilites, remains 
of an ancient sect once widely spread in Bosnia and identical with the Albi- 
genses.' I observe that Jirecek, quoting Kosanovic (Glasnik 29, (1871), 174), 
alludes to a rumour that in the valley of the Narenta and near Cresevo, 
' there are still Christians who neither submit to Franciscans, nor Popes, 
nor Imams, but govern themselves according to old traditions, which an 
Elder delivers to the rest.' I hope at some future period to be able to say 
more on the present state of the Bogomiles. 

* See p. 214. There seems, however, to be some discrepancy as to dates. 
According to Schimek (op. cit. p. 76), Czar Dushan only annexed. Bosnia in 
1347, whereas the date of the Armorial is 1340. The Ban, Stephen Kotro- 
manovid, retained a small part of his dominions on the Hungarian frontier. 
Dushan placed the rest under the despot Lazar of Ilaacia. On Dusiian's 
death in 1365 the Ban recovered the whole of Bosnia, including a part of 
Serbia beyond the Drina and the grave of St Sava at Milesevo, where he 
built a Franciscan Monastery, and where he himself was buried in 1357. 


Stephen Dushan. Shortly after his date the Bans of Bosnia 
become so powerful that they are able to annex the two im- 
portant Serbian provinces of Eascia and Zenta, which answers 
to the modern Montenegro, and to proclaim themselves vir- 
tually independent both of the Serbian and Hungarian monar- 
chies. In 1376 the Ban, Stephen Tvartko, was strong enough 
to extort from his uncle, King Louis of Hungary, permission to 
assume the royal style — the King of Hungary only reserving the 
suprema domination After half a year spent in prepara- 
tions, Tvartko, accompanied by his lords spiritual and temporal, 
and by four representatives from each important town, progressed 
from his residence of Sutiska to the Monastery of Milesevo, the 
foundation and burial-place of his uncle and predecessor, but the 
greater glory of which was that it contained the tomb of the 
Serbian Apostle, St. Sava. There he was crowned by the hands 
of the Metropolitan, and assumed the title of Stephen Tvartko, 
by the grace of Grod King of Eascia, Bosnia, and Primorie.^ 

Stephen Tvartko distinguished his rule by his wisdom and 
toleration. Though himself leaning in his belief alternately 
to Greek orthodoxy and Eoman Catholicism, he displayed a 
generous toleration of the Bogomiles ; he did much to encourage 
trade and commerce, and was indeed, after Culin, the first Bos- 
nian prince who struck coins.^ He succeeded in quelling the 
insolence of his great nobles who had burst out into rebellion, 
under the leadership of his brother, and the attendance at his coro- 
nation of four representatives from each of his great cities would 
alone be a striking proof that Bosnia was advancing on the path 
of constitutional liberty, and was not by any means alien to the 
civic and industrial impulses of fourteenth-century Europe. 
Nay, it is certain that, in spite of the prevalence of Bogomilism 
among the masses, and of the artistically blighting influence of 
an iconoclastic religion on a rude society, arts of a more 
aesthetic kind were penetrating among the Bosnian mountains. 
Nor was it only in the illuminations of heraldry, the embellish- 
ment of gold and silver work, and the superb embroidery of 

^ Spicilegium, &c., I)e Bosnice Regno, p. 51 ; Farlati, Ep. Bosn. &c. 
Schimek (op. cit. p. 84). 

2 Henceforth he is generally known as Stephen Myrza. 
^ Thoemmel, Vilajet Bosnien, p. 12. 


sacred vestments that these more refined influences asserted them- 
selves. That munificent patron of South-Sclavonic Art, the pre- 
sent Roman Catholic bishop of Bosnia, has collected in his palace 
of Diakovar, a series of paintings by Bosnian artists of this and 
the succeeding century, which reflect the Griottesque revulsion 
from the wooden Byzantinism which preceded it, and show that 
Bosnia bade fair to produce a school of artists who might hold 
a place in the galleries of Europe.^ 

Dis aliter placitum ! Already, through the passes of the 
Balkan the storm was howling nearer and nearer that was to 
annihilate the budding gems of culture and free government 
in Bosnia. In 1 353, — five years before Tvartko's accession to the 
Banat, — under Suleiman, the son of Orchan, the Turks had first 
set foot in Europe. In twelve more years their ravages had 
spread to Attica, the Palseolologi had pawned their crown 
jewels, and the Turkish Sultan had transferred his residence 
from Broussa to Adrianople. The tide of invasion poured along 
the Pontic shores, across the plains of Thrace, and was bursting 
through the iron gates of Hi3emus. The Crescent already floated 
on the holy city of Bulgaria, the Marica had run red with the 
blood of Serbian chivalry, and turbaned warriors had scaled 
the salt steppes of Albania ; the people, in the plaintive words 
of their heroic poetry, ' were scattered abroad like the fowls of 
the air,' and Macedonia was resigned to wolves and vultures. 
Meanwhile, Bidgaria, already half conquered, was split up into 
the two rival Czardoms of Tirnovo and Widdin ; Serbia, by the 
death of Czar Diishan, had lost the one man capable of restraining 
anarchy at home, or of marshalling the forces of the nation 
against the Turkish invaders, and the great empire of the 
Nemanjas had shivered into a hundred fragments. 

Thus it was that in the hour of disunion and despair Serb 
and Bulgar alike turned to the new and rising kingdom that their 
Bosnian kinsmen had established in the lUyrian West. Tvartko 

* For an account of the collection of Bishop Strossmayer I am entirely 
indebted to Canon Liddon, who visited Diakovar in the summer of this year. 
As a slight monument of mediaeval art in Bosnia I may refer the reader to 
the Great Seal of King Tvartko III. engraved on the title-page of this 


was now at the height of his power, and included under his sceptre 
more extensive dominions than any Bosnian Ban, or King, 
before or after. He had seized the land of Chelm, the later Her- 
zegovina, which had belonged to former Bans of Bosnia, till ex- 
changed for Primorie with the King of Hungary ; and added 
to it the two old Serbian Zupas of Canali ^ and Tribunja ; he had 
extended at least a suzerainty over the Principality of Zenta or 
the Black-Mountain; and by 1382 appears to have reduced the 
whole of Dalmatia, with the single exception of the city of Zara. 
Tvartko ruled already from beyond the Drina to the islands of 
the Adriatic, and from the Save to the lake of Skodra, but his 
ambition aimed at nothing short of re-establishing the empire 
of the Balkan Sclaves under a Bosnian sceptre, and of ruling, it 
might be, over wider realms than the greatest of the Nemanjas. 
For these mighty schemes not only did he seem qualified by his 
personal abilities, but by connection and descent. His first wife, 
Dorothea, was the daughter of the Bulgarian Czar, Sracimir of 
Widdin ; on his mother's side he traced his descent from Stephen 
Dragutin; and, on the extinction of the Nemanjids, claimed to be 
the rightful heir of the Serbian Kings and Czars.^ In Croatia he 
had allied himself with the nobility in their opposition to their 
Hungarian suzerain, with the object of incorporating that pro- 
vince in his own dominions, and extending his frontier to the 
Drave.^ Thus the appeal of the Sclavonic princes, Serbian and 
Bulgarian, who felt themselves powerless to repel the Turks, not 
only roused the Bosnian King to a sense of his own impending 
danger, but flattered his ambition. He hastened to respond to 
the appeal, by gathering an army of 30,000 men and advancing 
in person against the Infidel. For a moment that fatal spell of 
isolation which had held Bosnia so long aloof from the fortunes 
of neighbouring and kindred people is broken through, and she 

^ See p. 384 for the !^upa Canawlovska and the Koman aqueduct from 
which it derived its name. Tribunja or Terbunja is, of course, Trebinje, the 
Koman Terbulium. 

^ Jirecek (op. cit. p. 338), who brings out clearly the prominent part 
played by King Tvartko in the last great South-Sclavonic struggle against 
the Turks. 

3 Racki, Pokret na Slavenskom juguy kmcem XIV. i pocetkom XV, siol- 
ieca (cited in Jirecek, loc. cit.) 


stands forth against the Turks at the head of a great con- 
federacy of the Southern Sclaves, whose members were scattered 
from Silistria to Durazzo, and from Thessalonica to Belgrade. 
Joining his forces to the Serbian host collected by the ill- 
starred Knez Lazar, King Tvartko took advantage of the 
absence of Sultan Amurath in Asia, to fall upon his army near 
Plocnik on the Toplica, and inflicted on it such an annihilating 
defeat that scarce a fifth escaped the sword or captivity. 

Amurath was furious, and hurried from Asia to avenge the 
disaster. Tirnovo fell, and the sight of a captive Czar struck 
t/Crror into the Bulgarians, Tvartko despatched an army under 
his brave Greneral, Vlatko Hranid, to the aid of the Sclavonic 
confederates, and for the last time Bosniac, Serb, Croat, and 
Bulgarian, joined their forces against the Infidel. Only two 
years after the rout of Plocnik, on June 15, St. Vitus' day, 1389, 
on the ill-omened field of Kossovo was fought one of the great 
battles of the world, decisive even in its indecisiveness. 

Nothing but a brilliant victory could have galvanized into unity 
the ill-compacted alliance of the Sclaves. We need not dwell upon 
the incidents of the fight. ^ How the hero Milo§ met the wassail 
taunts of treachery by rushing to his doom and stabbing 'the 
Turkish Czar Murad ' in his pavilion ; how the head of the Ser- 
bian Knez Lazar was held aloft by its grey hairs to glut the 

* The English reader will find a full and graphic account of the battle of 
Kossovo Polje (or the Field of Thrushes) in The Slavonic Provinces of 
Turketj in Europe, by G. Muir Mackenzie and A. P. Irbv, ch. xv. Some 
extmcts from some of the Servian P/esme on this subject are translated by 
Sir John Bowring in his Servian Popular Poetri/. There is also an interest- 
ing account of the battle in Knolles' Turkish Histoi-y, 1610, which shows 
how great was already the poetic influence on the story. * The brightness of 
the Armor and Weapons/ writes our English historian, ' was as it had been 
the Lightning,the m ultitude of Launces and other horsemen's staves shadowed 
the light of the Sun. Arrows and darts fell so fast that a man would have 
thought they had poured down from Heaven. The noise of the Instruments 
of War, with the neighing of Horses and outcries of men was so terrible and 
great that the wild Beasts of the mountains stood astonied therewith ; 
and the Turkish Histories, to express the terror of the day (vainly say) that 
the Angels of Heaven amazed with that hideous noise for that time forgot 
the heavenly hymns wherewith they always glorifie God.' It is possible that 
the thunder of cannon was now heard for the first time in the Balkan i^enin- 
sulft. In 1383 the Venetians had sold King Tvartko a Fatamm. 


glazing eyes of the Turkish Sultan ; how the Bosnian Voivode, 
metamorphosed into his Herzegovinian successor, — ' ducal 
Stephen,' struck, down nine Pashas and sank himself before the 
tenth ; of the lightning charge of Bajazet, the thunder-stroke of 
his iron mace, the crowning treachery of Vuk ; or how, long 
afterwards, the Serbian wayfarers on the Field of Thrushes found 
the body of their sainted King, and Knez Lazar was borne 
at last by priestly hands 'to beauteous Kavanica in the mountain 
forest,' there to lie amidst his kindred in the convent of his 
rearing: all this, with many a legendary aftergrowth, lives as fresh 
in the minds of the Southern Sclaves as if it were of yesterday. 
There is not a name in that heroic muster-roll which is not a 
household word wherever the Serbian tongue is spoken. Epic 
lays of the fatal day of Kossovo are still sung every day to 
throngs of peasant listeners by minstrels of the people, whose 
rhapsodies, set to the dolorous strains of the ghuzla, resound in 
a great national dirge along the willowed banks of Save and 
Danube, through the beechwood glens of Bosnia, the dark re- 
cesses of the Balkan, the mountain strongholds of the Czernagora, 
till, far away across the Illyrian desert, they find an echo in that 
cavemed waste of rock that frowns above the blue waters of the 
Adriatic. The battle of Kossovo has grown and grown on the 
imagination of oppressed peoples who only realized its full signi- 
ficance long afterwards. Tragic and romantic as were the actual 
incidents of that great contest, they stand out against the dis- 
astrous twilight that succeeded, in fantastic and supernatural 
relief, lit up by the lurid conflagrations of after ravages. At the 
time, we have the most direct evidence that the battle was re- 
garded by one at least of the principal actors as a great victory 
for Christendom. Amurath was slain, the Turks had retired 
from the field of battle, and the brave Bosnian Greneral had re- 
turned to his sovereign with unbroken forces. Tvartko wrote 
word to the citizens of Trail and Florence that he had once more 
triumphed over the Infidel, and Te Deums of thanksgiving for 
the success of the Christian arms were celebrated in the cathedral 
of Notre Dame and in the presence of the king of France.^ Yet 

^ Zinkeisen, (I. 290) cited in Jirecek (op. cit. p. 844). 


the death-knell of the Serbians and Bulgarians had already 
sounded, the last confederacy of the Southern Sclaves was broken 
up, the imperial aspirations of the Bosnian King were dashed 
for ever, and the doom of Bosnia itself was but postponed. 

The battle of Kossovo was the turning-point in Tvartko's 
fortunes. His intrigues in Croatia, and a victory obtained over 
the Hungarian arms in Dalmatia, roused the Magyar King, 
Sigismund, to vengeance, and Tvartko, prevented himself by 
bodily weakness from taking an active part in the hostilities, 
saw his allies defeated, his province of Ussora overrun,^ and him- 
self reduced to renew his homage. 

In 1 391 Tvartko dies, of vexation, it is said, at these reverses, 
and is succeeded by Stephen Dabiscia, otherwise known as 
Tvartko II., and he again in 1396 by Tvartko III.^ The 
greater part of the long reign of this King, which lasted forty- 
seven years, is distracted by perpetual wars, connected with the 
disputed succession of the Hungarian crown. It is extremely 
difficult to trace out the aims of the different parties who are 
now disputing for mastery in Bosnia. At one time Tvartko III., 
who seems, like his father, Tvartko I., to have aimed at Croatian 
annexations, appears at the head of an insurrection of Bosnian 
and Croatian magnates against Sigismund of Hungary, and in 
1408 is defeated and captured under the walls of his historic 
Castle of Doboj,^ where the conqueror executed 180 Bosnian 
and Croatian nobles. Tvartko, though forced to resume his 
allegiance, was suffered to retain his crown, and for many 
years we find him maintaining his position in league with 
the party of Sigismund among the Magyars, and generally by 
the support of the Bogomiles, and the popular party who 
seem to be identical with them. When the Magnates and their 
auxiliaries of the Neapolitan and Dalmatian faction sought 
to oppose him and set up a rival king, Tvartko carried 
out his national policy still further by sending a message 
to Vladislaus Jagellon, the Polish claimant of tlie Hungarian 
throne, in which he offered him his homage and begged for 

» See p. 106. 

^ Also kuown a« Tvartko II. 

» See pp. 105, 100. 


assistance on the plea of the common origin of the Poles and 

In this universal confusion the Turks first make good a foot- 
ing in Bosnia. Already in the reign of Stephen Dabiscia, Bajazet 
had advanced into the county of Chelm and established station- 
ary quarters at a spot become memorable in the most recent 
times as the scene of the first outbreak of a revolt which has 
shaken Turkish dominion in Bosnia to its foundations — Neve- 
sinje.^ But in the factious contests which distracted the reign of 
the third Tvartko, each of the competitors for dominion out- 
bade the other for Turkish help, and it was by the direct invi- 
tation and under the actual leadership of a turbulent noble that 
the Turks first gained sufficient footing in Bosnia to establish 
there a Sandjakate. The whole story is worth repeating, as it 
singularly illustrates the state into which this unhappy country 
had fallen. At the time there were two kings in Bosnia ; Tvartko, 
who had now made his peace with Sigismund and ruled over 
the parts of Bosnia along the Drina and the Serbian frontier, 
and Ostoja, who owed his elevation to the Neapolitan faction 
of Ladislaus, and whose territory embraced the maritime parts 
and a tract roughly answering to the later Herzegovina. Be- 
tween the Eastern and the Western kingdom lay a more or less 
neutral wedge of country which had been carved out by 
King Sigismund and formed into a Hungarian Banat under the 
great Croatian noble Hervoja Horvatid, whose dominion in- 
cluded the city of Jaycze, and anticipated in its extent that 
Banat of lower Bosnia which, at a later time, Mathias Corvinus 
recovered from the Turkish conqueror. Hervoja, who assumed 
the title of Chief Voivode, and even Prince, of Bosnia,^ and 
who shifted his allegiance, as the whim seized him, from Tvartko 

^ Spicilegiuni, &c., De Bosnia Begno, p. 7. 

^ See deed of Stephen Dabiscia to Goiko Mergnjavic (translated on p. 
223) in return for services performed : ' Quando venit Paiasit cum Turcis et 
stetit in Naglasincis et destruxit Bosnam.' 

^ According to the Spicilegium he assumed the title Princeps Bosncs et 
dominus Jayczse. When under Ostoja's suzerainty he styled himself 
* Supremus Vayvoda Begni Bosnm et Vicarius Reymn Vladislai et Ostojae.^ 
According to Schimek (op. cit. p. 25) his land extended from the middle of 
the vale of Bosna along the Croatian border. 




and Sigismund to Ostoja and Ladislaus, happened on one occasion 
to have honoured King Sigismund with his presence at his court. 
Hervoja, who added a bullying manner to a body of bovine 
dimensions, was haranguing the assembled magnates, Hungarian 
and Bosnian, in his usual tones, when a certain Paul Chupor, 
Ban of Slavonia, broke in upon his lordship by bellowing like a 
bull. This was too much for the gravity of court ceremonial, and 
King Sigismund himself could not help joining in the general 
laugh. But Hervoja, in a frantic rage, left the court, and 
hurried back to his Banat, vowing vengeance against the 
Hungarian King, his Bosnian liegeman King Tvartko, and 
every baron who followed their banners. Seizing the oppor- 
tunity when both of them were away in Germany, he called in 
the Turks and took the command of the invading horde in 
person. In the absence of the two Kings, the magnates of the 
country, with his mortal enemy, Paul Chupor, at their head, 
united their retainers to oppose him. Hervoja defeated their 
army, and having the luck to take his old insulter prisoner, had 
him sewn up alive in a bull's hide and thrown into the river, 
with the characteristic jest, ' When thou wert a man thou didst 
speak with a bull's voice ; take now thy bull's hide as well ! ' 

The Turks after devastating the country, destroying Varch 
Bosna near the site of Serajevo and penetrating into the 
district of Sala in lower Bosnia, refused this time to content 
themselves with plunder, and established their first Sandjakate in 
Bosnia. Hervoja, seeing himself thrown over by the Turks, who 
found him no longer useful as a cat's-paw, and deserted by his 
own adherents, shut himself up in his family castle at Cattaro, 
and worn with vexation, perhaps remorse, died the same sum- 
mer. The two Kings, Tvartko and Sigismund, succeeded on 
their return in gaining a victory over the Turks, slajdng the 
Sandjak Ikach, and freeing Bosnia for a while from the occupation 
of the Infidel. But the anarchy within continued, and in 1430 
culminated in the spectacle of three rival princes, each of them 
claiming to be King of Bosnia I In 1435 the death of his two 
rivals left Tvartko III. once more sole king ; but shortly after 
that date the part of his dominions which answers to the modern 
Herzegovina separates itself from the rest of Bosnia, and forms 
for a while an independent principality. 


The County of Chelm, variously designated as the Banat of 
Zachlumje and the land of Humska, had been originally incor- 
porated in the Banat of Bosnia by the Ban Stephen^ in 1326. 
We have seen it exchanged for Primorie with the King of Him- 
gary, and re-annexed by the first King of Bosnia, who granted 
^ it as a fief to his brave general Vlatko Hranid. His grandson, 
P who from his birthplace Cosac, was known as Stephen Cosaca, or 
Cosaccia,^ took advantage of the weakness of Tvartko III. to 
transfer the immediate suzerainty of his county to the Emperor 
Frederick IV., who in 1440 created him Duke, or, as his Scla- 
vonic subjects who had borrowed the Grerman word expressed it, 
Herzega, of St. Sava.^ This, and the fiirther title of ' Keeper 
of St. Sava's Sepulchre,' he derived from the tomb of the patron 
saint of Serbia in his monastery of Milesevo. 

The Herzegovina, or Duchy, as this country now begins to 
be called,'* included, besides the old county of Chelm, the 
coastland district known as Primorie, and extended from the 
borders of Eascia to the neighbourhood of Zara.* Stephen 
Cosaccia fixed as the seat of his government the important point 
where the old Roman bridge still spans the river Narenta, 

^ Stephen assumed the style Liber Piinceps et Domtnus Bosme, Ussor<Sf 
Saks atque plurium alm-um locorufn, atque Chelmi Comes. 

* From him the noble Venetian family of Cozzas derives its origin. 

3 It seems to me probable that the title accorded by Frederick was Duke 
of Primorie (which is now incorporated in the County of Chelm), and that 
the name Duke of St Sava was rather a popular piecing together of this 
and his other title of 'Keeper of the Sepulchre of St. Sava,' In 1446 he is 
called Herztgh Sandi Sabfxs by the Bosnian king in the account of the Con- 
ventus of Coinica; but if we may judge from the Italian style used by his 
son, the refugee duke, he called himself Duke of Primorie. Stephen Cosac- 
cia's son calls himself ' Duca PHmorschi, Signor di Huniy e Guardiano del 
Sepolchro del heato Sava.' 

* Herzegovina, the adjectival form of Herzega — literally ' the ducal ' — 
land being understood. 

^ Stephen Cosaccia's father, Sandalj Hranic, in addition to his original 
heritage of Chelm, had been ceded lands beyond the Drina by Ostoja. 
Stephen himself succeeded in annexing from Tvartko's successor the districts 
of Duvuo, Rama, and Ljubuska. On the other hand Sandalj had parted with 
Ostrovizza to the Venetians, and the Zupa Kanawlovska to Ragusa. See 
Vllerzegovine, Etude Geographique, Historiquey et Statistique, parE. de Sainte- 


and the City of Mostar still looks back to Kadivoj Grost, his 
Curopalata or ' Mayor of the Palace,' as its founder.* 

During the last years of Tvartko's reign Bosnia enjoyed the 
peace she so much needed. The King who had inherited many of 
the good qualities, though not perhaps the martial ardour and 
masterful ambition of his father, the first Tvartko, won the 
hearts of his people by his even-handed justice. He heard com- 
plaints himself, sitting in the gate, as the Prince of Montenegro 
does at the present day, and decided the cases set before him 
with wisdom. Before punishment could be inflicted on anyone 
judgment had first to be pronounced by the Starosts or Elders 
of the realm, and the verdict had first to be submitted to the 
approval of the people. Business of state was conducted 
by the King in Council, and his chief advisers were the Bans of 
Jaycze and Bosna. In Tvartko's days, we are told, no flatterer 
dare approach the Court. The Bogomiles enjoyed toleration, 
and Tvartko himself and the chief barons of the realm, includ- 
ing the Count of Popovo and Trebinje, the despot George of 
Serbia, and Sandalj Hranid were adherents of the sect. The 
Franciscan Missionaries, to whom directly or indirectly a very 
large share of the troubles of the Bosnian kingdom was due, 
were confined to the districts where they were already settled, 
and compelled to limit their exactions to a more restricted 
sphere ; Tvartko even profited by a quarrel that broke out be- 
tween them and the superior of their order, to place them under 
his direct jurisdiction.^ 

Stephen Thomas succeeded Tvartko ' the Just ' on the throne 
of Bosnia in 1443. He was an illegitimate son of Ostoja and a 
Kagusan lady, Voiacchia, and was mised to the throne by the 
Bogomiles to whose communion he belonged. True to the policy 
which prompted the Puritan population of Bosnia to seek a 
counterpoise against Catholic Hungary in their fellow Puritans, 
the champions of Islam, King Stephen Thomas began his reign 
by promising a yearly tribute to the Sultan, But the Papal 
party had rightly reckoned on the weakness of Thomas's charac- 
ter; and the subtle genius of the Apostolic legate, Thom- 

* For Mostar and its bridge see p. 347, &c. 
» Scliimek (op. cit. p. 109). 


asini, whom the Pope had sent to effect his conversion, knew 
only too well how to play upon his fears and cupidity. Stephen 
Thomas was illegitimate ; the lawful son of Ostoja, Radivoj (or 
Gaudenzo) had returned from Turkish exile and put in a claim 
on the Bosnian crown ; the Papal party had powerful weapons at 
their command in the Duke of St. Sava, then a staunch Catholic, 
who refused allegiance and invaded Thomas's territory, and in 
the King of Hungary, who as suzerain, declined to recognize 
the title of a heretic prince. Thomasini offered to legitimate 
Thomas and his heirs, to obtain for him a consecrated crown, to 
reconcile his rivals and his suzerain. The King of Bosnia 
yielded, abjured his Bogomilian heresy, and was baptized into the 
Catholic fold. Thomas, who had hitherto hesitated to take the 
style of King in his official acts,^ was formally crowned in 1444. 
His homage was accepted by the Hungarian King Ladislaus, 
and his rival Radivoj was pacified with the grant of the Banat 
of Jaycze. 

In Bosnia itself this abjuration of the national faith pro- 
duced the most deplorable effects. The Inquisition raised its 
head, the Franciscans were again rampant. The Bogomiles saw 
themselves betrayed by the King of their own creation. The 
great vassal of the Bosnian crown, Stephen Cosaccia, Duke of 
St. Sava, who in the first blush of Thomas's conversion had been 
induced to return to his allegiance, and whose goodwill had 
been further courted by Thomas taking his daughter Catharine 
to wife, now began to find it politic to cut himself adrift from 
the Papal party, and to bid for complete independence of the 
Bosnian Crown by posing as the protector of the Bogomiles. 
Meanwhile, beyond the border, the great battle of Varna had 
been fought, the Hungarians routed, and their King slain. As 
the danger of Turkish conquest drew nearer and nearer, the 

^ This is illustrated by a curious fact. A deed (described by Schimek, 
op. cit. p. 117) is still extant in the Imperial Archives at Vienna, in which 
King Thomas, in return for services in reconciling him to his Hungarian 
suzerain, grants John Hunyadi an annuity of 3000 ducats. In this docu- 
ment, datmn in Castro Bohovacz, feria quarta post festmn Pentecostes (3 Junii) 
An. Doin. 1444, Thomas still makes use of the seal of his predecessor 
Tvartko III. A representation of this seal from Schimek is given on the 
title-page of this book. 


most bigoted champions of the Roman Church might see the 
danger of throwing the Protestant population into the arms of 
the invader ; and the most sanguine of the Christian Puritans, 
viewing the fate of their brothers in Bulgaria, might shrink from 
accepting the dominion of their Mahometan counterparts. In 
the Diet, or Great Council of the Realm, which King Stephen 
Thomas assembled at Coinica, we may see a last effort to check 
the growing anarchy, and unite the discordant elements of 
the realm. I have given an account of the great charter of King 
Stephen Thomas while describing the scene of the ' Conventus ' 
of Coinica.* In it the constitutional relation of the Duke of St. 
Sava will be found defined, and the clause which enacts * that the 
Manichaeans build no new church nor restore the old,' but which 
omits to prescribe any further penalties or to fulminate any of 
the usual anathemas against them, seems to me to imply that 
even the Bogomiles were to be accorded comparative toleration.^ 
But passions ran too high, anarchy was too inveterate in Bosnia, 
for this attempt at internal pacification to succeed. In the 
Papal legate, Thomasini, King Stephen Thomas had ever 
at his side an evil genius, who inclined him more and more 
towards the path of persecution. With the Turk at the door 
King Thomas, who was known to the Roman Catholics as the 
' pious,' once more lent the support of the civil arm to the In- 
quisition. The Bogomiles turned for protection to the Turks, 
their only possible ally, and, four years after the ' Conventus ' of 
Coinica, invited them into the country. Stephen Thomas, a 
tyrant towards his own subjects, showed himself a craven before 
the foe, and purchased an ignominious peace from Amurath by 
agreeing to pay him 25,000 ducats a year. But the Turkish 
suzerainty became more and more galling, and the fall of Con- 
stantinople in 1453 finally roused him from his lethargy. Four 
years after that event he issued from his Palace of Sutisca, near 
the Castle of Bobovac, an appeal to the whole Christian world 

» See p. 307. 

* Schimek (op. cit. p. 119, note 2), od what authority I know not, 
asserts that the Electi omnium comitattmm regni nostrx nohiles, who attended 
at the * Conventus, were the Elders of the Patarene (Bogomilian) clergy, 
* und die Edlen (nobiles) scheinen, nach dor pohii^chen Art, die liandboten 
gewesen zu seyn.' 


for help against the InfidelJ This was addressed to the Pope, 
the King of Arragon, the Doge of Venice, the Duke of Burgundy, 
and other Christian princes. But the days of the Crusades 
were gone by, and the appeal of the King of Bosnia met with 
no response, save that the Pope sent him a consecrated standard 
and a cross. 

Meanwhile the death of the brave John Hunyadi, and the 
paralysing civil war in Hungary, left the Bosnian King without 
his one ally. The Turkish ravages now extended to the heart of 
Bosnia. Already, in 1449, Turks were settled in the country 
between the Drina and Ukrina stream,^ on the main line of 
communication between Bosnia and Hungary ; now, the neigh- 
bouring Pashas and Agas begin to drive a regular traffic in 
Bosnian slaves. A half mythical atmosphere surrounds the last 
days of the Bosnian kingdom. It is said that the craven Thomas, 
fearing to resist the Turks, entered into a secret league with 
them. We are told by contemporary writers that Mahomet 
himself, disguised as a Morabite, made his way in company 
with two real members of that order, into the royal palace of 
Sutiska,^ that King Thomas showed him all honour, and solemnly 
entered with him into that sworn brothership so hallowed 
amongst the Southern Sclaves, the Pohratimstvo. Whether 
such a meeting actually occurred, or whether the whole story 
was the invention of domestic enemies, there can be no doubt 
that the poltroonery and tergiversation of Thomas had alienated 
even that Catholic faction on which since his abjuration of Bogo- 
milism he had relied. Signs of defection already appeared, and 
the King turned the arms that he should have employed against 

1 Datum sub castro nostro regali de Bobovatz in oppido Sutischae, die 
xxiv Julii, A.D. 1457 (in Spic. De Bosni(S Regno) . 

"^ This appears from a curious document, dated that year, by which King 
Stephen Thomas engages not to introduce the Turks into Hungary. *Nec 
iisdem Turcis in teuutis nostris, apud manus nostras existentibus a Drino 
usque fluvium Ukrina, vadum seu navigium praestabimus.' It does not ap- 
pear whether these were actual settlers, or a Turkish garrison quartered on 
the dominions of the Bosnian King. 

^ Other accounts make Mahomet disguise himself as a merchant ; others 
transfer the scene to Jaycze ; and, according to another version, the Bosnian 
King was not Stephen Thomas, but his son Tomaicevic. 


the national enemy, to reduce a refractory Croatian vassal. It 
was while besieging his castle, encamped on the field of Bielaj, 
that King Stephen Thomas was assassinated, if report spoke truly, 
by his step-brother Kadivoj and his illegitimate son Stephen. 

The parricide Stephen Tomasevic at once usurped the 
throne, though Stephen Thomas is often regarded by Bosnians 
as their last king. The Catholic and anti-Turkish party were 
now triumphant, and the new King began his reign by an 
appeal to the feudal nobility of Bosnia to meet him with their re- 
tainers equipped for battle against the Infidel, on the field of 
Kossovo. This summons is dated Pristina, June 8, 1459, and is 
one of the last records of feudal Bosnia. The Barons, Prelates, 
Nobles, Voivodes, and magnates of the realm, ^ are summoned by 
name. The Zupans^ of Eascia and of Serbia, with their banners 
and retainers, the Ban of Jaycze, the Ban of Ussora, the Duke of 
St. Sava, and the lesser nobles, are marshalled before us on parch- 
ment. The King appeals to their orthodox bigotry, and seems 
to take an illustration from the fire-drakes of Sclavonic folk-lore. 
' What faithful Christian,' he asks, * and zealous lover of the or- 
thodox faith can restrain his tears when considering the capture 
of Constantinople ? ' He calls on the Barons aforesaid ' to meet 
us on the field of Kossovo in June, for we ought in a body to 
advance against the dragon, lest he spit forth over us his venom.' ^ 
But King Stephen Tomasevic inherited his father's poltroonery, 
with more than his father's bigotry. We do not know that he 
ever met the Turks at Kossovo ; but we know that this same 
year he turned the arms of his orthodox Magnates against his 
unoffending Bogomile subjects, and hounded 40,000 of them 
from the realm. His brave generals, Paul Kubretic and Tomko 
Mergnjavid, defended severally the line of the Drina and the 
Rascian frontier with success, but the surrender of Semendria 

» Proceres Regni. 

a Prsefecti. 

» This summons is pi-eserved in the monastery of the Holy Ghost at 
Foinica, and is given in Balthazar Kerselich, De Rey^iis Dalmatia;, Croati'eef 
SclavimifCf not.itiat jyreBlttntnareSf Zajrrab, s. a. In my first edition I had fol- 
lowed the wrong chronology of Fai-lato and referred it to Stephen Thomas, 
but there can be no doubt that it is, as Schimek points out, the act of 


which the Hungarians had intrusted to his safe-keeping, to the 
Turks, had irritated Mathias Corvinus and the powerful Hun- 
garian faction among the Magnates, and this dissatisfaction was 
intensified by Tomasevid throwing himself and his kingdom at 
the feet of the Papacy, which, however, wisely refused to accept 
it. Meanwhile it was no secret that Mahomet was preparing 
for his great invasion of Bosnia. 

The King of Bosnia who had already secured the alliance of 
the Venetians and Scanderbeg, turned once more to the Pope, 
if not to gain him fresh allies, at least to sanctify his efforts, 
and to breathe into his followers the enthusiasm of a new 
crusade. The ambassadors of Tomasevi<5 appeared at Eome in 
1463, and were received in solemn conclave by the Pope. They 
read to him and the spiritual senators assembled an appeal 
drawn up by the Bosnian King's own hand. The speech, for it 
is nothing less, has been preserved, and is the last monument 
of Christian Bosnia. In turns it is argumentative, insinuating, 
and solemn; selfish personal ambition is blended in a remark- 
able way with a real appreciation of the gravity of the situation, 
and the far-reaching consequences of a Turkish conquest of 
Bosnia to Hungary and Christendom ; and the King as he warms 
with his harangue forgets the official plural of a royal style and 
lapses into the impressive individuality of a prophet, 

'Most Holy Father, we, Stephen Tomasevid, King of 
Bosnia, send this embassy unto thee, for that Mahomet hath 
conceived this summer to fall upon our realm. Already hath 
he gathered together his array of war ; nor is our strength 
sufficient that we should stand against him. In our grievous 
necessity we have turned to the Hungarians and the Venetians 
for succour ; and Greorge, the Prince of Albania, hath promised us 
his help. Now, therefore, have we also turned to thee, most 
Holy Father. No mountains of gold do we ask of thee, but 
this alone, that our enemies and our true friends should know 
that we have thy protection. If so be that the Bosnians know 
that they fight not alone, then will their courage be the keener; 
whereas the Barbarian will fear to attack our land, the passes 
wherein are difficult, and the fenced cities well nigh impregna- 
ble. Eugenius, thy predecessor, promised our father the throne. 


and that he would establish some bishoprics in Bosnia ; but our 
father refused to accept this treaty, lest peradventure he should 
magnify the hatred of the Turks against him ; for that he him- 
self was newly converted, and the Manichaeans were not yet 
pursued the realm. But I was christened in the true faith, I 
learned Latin in my childhood, and have remained steadfast in 
my Christian belief. I fear not therefore what my father 
feared, and therefore do I entreat thee that thou wouldest send 
me a crown and the holy bishops. Let this be for a monument 
that thou wilt not forsake me or my realm. If the enemy 
breaks in, a crown received from thy hands will be unto my 
friends as an earnest of victory, and for a terror to my foes. In 
my father's lifetime, thou didst issue thy commands that the 
Crusaders, assembled in Dalmatia under the overseeing of the 
Venetians, should help him, but this pleased not the Venetian 
Senate. Bid them now that they come to my aid, if haply thou 
shalt find more obedience, forasmuch as they have turned from 
tlieir former designs, and they shall make war against the 
Turks. This moreover do I pray, that thou send thy legate 
unto Hungary, that so he may set before the King my grievous 
necessity, and may spur him on to join his arms with mine. 

' By such means tlie realm of Bosnia may yet be preserved ; 
otherwise it falls to pieces : for insatiable ambition knows no 
bounds. But if so be that I am subj ugated, the hereditary foe 
will fall upon the Hungarians, and having subdued the Dalma- 
tians, Istrians, and Carinthians, will turn his arms also against 
Italy. The first fury of the storm threatens me, after me the 
Hungarians and Venetians and other peoples must bend before 
it, nor will Italy remain secm*e. Such are the foe's designs. I 
have learnt them, and therefore do 1 communicate to thee this 
intelligence that thou mayest not lay drowsiness to my charge, 
nor say that these things were not foret(.>ld. My father too had 
foretold to thy predecessor and to the Venetians tbe fall of 
Constantinople. He was not believed, and Christendom lost 
one city of the Caesars, the Patriarch's seat and the pride of 
Greece. Of myself only do I now prophesy. Believest thou 
me ? then succom* me, and I am delivered ; otherwise I perish. 
thou who art the father of Christendom, give counsel and help !* 


The Pope in reply recognised the truth of King Stephen's 
warnings, and promised to place the arms in Dalmatia at his 
disposal, to build the desired cathedrals in Bosnia, and send the 
bishops. The consecrated crown he held in readiness, but 
would not send it without the consent of Mathias, Stephen's 
suzerain, with whom he recommended him to make friends. 
Let Stephen prevent Mahomet's invasion by occupying the 
passes ; Hungary and Venice would fly to his assistance. 

But while King Stephen Tomasevicf was pleading for new 
bishops from the Pope, another negociation was being transacted 
between his oppressed subjects and the Sultan. While the in- 
fatuated king was boasting that he had purged his realm of the 
Manichsean heretics ; these very sectaries who, in spite of the 
expulsion of 40,000 three years before, still formed apparently 
the large majority of the population, though forced to dissemble 
their opinions, seeing themselves threatened on the one hand 
by a new Eomish influx, on the other by invaders indeed, but 
Puritans at least like themselves, turned to the Turks. By the 
mouth of their spiritual chiefs the negociation with Mahomet 
was successfully completed. The Bogomiles promised to trans- 
fer their allegiance from their Romish sovereign to the Sultan, 
Mahomet on the other hand engaging to insure them free 
toleration for their religion, freedom from taxation, and other 

In 1463 Mahomet crossed the Drina and poured into 
Bosnia an army, the cavalry alone of which was exag- 
gerated by the terror of the natives into 150,000 horsemen. 
On June 14 a Turkish Pasha appeared at the head of a 
large force beneath the walls of Bobovac, the ancient seat 
of Bosnian Bans and Kings. The Sultan himself came up next 
day, and the governor '-^ — a ' Manichee,' we are told, ^ who had 
feigned to be a Christian ' — forthwith, with the consent of the 
garrison, who it is to be supposed were equally disaffected 
against the Catholic rulers, opened the gates to the Turk, 
Thus passed into the hands of Mahomet a fortress of the 
greatest strength, and supplied with provisions for a two-years* 

^ Schimek (op. cit. p. 144). 

"^ Variously described as Radovil Veciucic, Radic, Radac, and, in latin- 
ised formft, Radazes and Rastizes. 


siege. The King of Bosnia, panic-stricken at the loss of his 
royal city, and seeing himself betrayed by his own subjects, shut 
himself up with his treasures in Jaycze, another royal city, as 
strong by its position and fortifications as Bobovac ; but feeling 
himself still insecure, at the approach of the Pasha fled with his 
treasures to Clissa on the coast of Primorie, where, after forty 
days' siege, on condition of his life being spared, he surrendered 
himself to Mahomet, together with his treasures, the accumu- 
lated hoards of five kings, amounting, it is said, to a million 
of ducats.^ 

The crafty Sultan utilized, we are told, the King's authority 
to obtain possession of the remaining strongholds of Bosnia. 
He extorted from him writs to the governors of the different 
cities, ordering them to give up their keys to the Turks. All 
obeyed. The Protestant population of B.osnia did not need 
the royal mandate; they looked on the Turks rather as 
deliverers than foes, and in the short space of eight days 
seventy cities, 'defended by nature and art,' opened their 
gates to the Sultan's officers.^ Then at last the Christians 
of Bosnia discovered that they had betrayed one tyranny to make 
room for a worse. The King, Stephen Tomasevid, having 
served his turn, was barbarously executed by his perfidious 
captor. Accounts differ as to the exact manner of his death ; 
but it matters little whether he suffered the fate of Marsyas, 
St. Sebastian, or Charles I.; and poetic justice is satisfied, if we 
may believe the statement that the parricide king met his doom 
on the same field of Bielaj where he murdered his father.^ The 
most eminent nobles who had not escaped to Dalmatia were 
transported to Asia, thirty thousand of the picked youth of 
Bosnia were taken to recruit the Janissaries, and two hundred 
thousand of the inhabitants were sold as slaves, . 

By a strange irony of fate the blow fell hardest on the cities, 

* For the fall of the Bosnian kingdom and the Banat of Jaycze I have 
compared the accounts of Johannes Leunclavius, Laonicus, De Reb. TurCf 
lib. X. ; GobeHnus, lib. ii. ; Isthvanfius, and Bonfinius. 

' A few towns on the Bosna and Save, where, as nearer Hungary, the 
strength of the Bogomilian malcontents would be weakest, are said (Schi- 
inek, op. cit. p. IW) to liave resisted, but were soon reduced by the Beg 
Omer from Thessaly, and laid waste with fire and sword. 

^ Sohimek beheads Toma5cevi<5 at Blagai after the Herzego\'iuiau 


where the Bogomilian faction lay.^ How terrible was their 
calamity the example of Jaycze, the chief city of the realm, and 
Clissa, the last refuge of Bosnian royalty, abundantly dis- 
play. The burghers of Jaycze, relying on the Sultan's pledge to 
respect their municipal freedom, their ancient privileges and 
their property, had gone forth to welcome him within their 
gates. But no sooner was the city in his possession than the 
treacherous Osmanli, not content with arresting the chief 
nobility of the realm and the king's brother and daughter whom 
he found within the walls, seized on the children of the leading 
citizens for distribution among his Pashas and Agas, and en- 
rolment in his new body-guard. The fate of Clissa (or Kliuc) 
was still more overwhelming. The Turkish Beglerbeg divided 
the townspeople into three parts. One of them he adjudicated 
to his troops as booty ; another portion, the youtlis and child- 
ren, he set apart for enrolment in the Janissary guard ; and the 
remainder, but not, we may be assured, either the young or the 
beautiful, he left to pay tribute for their desolated homes. 

That it was nothing but the sheerest intolerance that drove 
the Bogomiles to welcome Turkish rule in Bosnia is conclusively 
shown by the different attitude adopted by their co-religionists 
of Herzegovina. This can be accounted for by no ties of per- 
sonal loyalty to the reigning Duke. Stephen's whole career 
might well have inspired the most vehement repugnance among 
subjects more tolerant to human weakness than is the wont 
of Puritans. Stephen Cosaccia was by all accounts a selfish 
voluptuary, careless of religion, described as fickle as the wind, 
and reckless as he was ambitious. He had seized his son's wife, 
a beautiful Florentine, and when his son and the outraged 
Duchess saved themselves from perpetual insult by taking 
shelter within the hospitable walls of Ragusa, had brought dis- 
asters on the land by his insolent pretensions. The Ragusans, 

1 So too in the Languedoc the strength of the heretica seems to have 
lain with the industrial population of the times, and one of the names 
applied to them, TisserimcUy shews that they made many converts among 
the weavers. This illustrates what I have already noticed, the connexion 
between Bogomilian propagandism and commercial intercourse. It is in- 
teresting to notice that tlie Bogomiles who still survive in the district of 
Popovo have retained certain mechanic arts that have died out among the 
rest of the Bosnian and Ilerzegovinian population. 


indignant at his demand for the extradition of the fugitives, 
his claims on part of their territory, his raising the salt-tax, 
did not content themselves with impeaching their rebellious 
senator of high treason, but invaded Herzegovina, took his 
treasure castle of Blagai and ducal city of Mostar, and hardly 
needed the double intervention of Pope and Sultan to reduce 
him to an humiliating peace and the payment of a war indem- 
nity. Stephen Cosaccia changed his creed with as much facility 
as he changed his consort. In the beginning of his reign, when 
Bosnian kings leaned to Bogomilism, it had suited his policy 
to bid for Papal favour and raise his County into a Duchy 
by playing the part of a faithful son of the Church. But when 
the King of Bosnia had made his peace with Eome, when all 
hopes that he may have cherished of placing the Bosnian crown 
upon his own head were finally dashed, when further a Papal 
legate had presided at that diet of Coinica by which his de- 
pendence on the Bosnian kingdom was formally cemented, 
Stephen Cosaccia began to think that, after all, more might be 
gained by fishing in the troubled waters of Puritan disaffection. 
He veered round once more and henceforth poses as the protector 
of the oppressed Bogomiles of Bosnia. When the persecutions of 
Stephen Tomasevic drove 40,000 of these sectaries from the 
kingdom, they found a refuge in the duchy ; and, neither for 
the first nor the last time in history, a tyrant and a libertine 
became the acknowledged patron of Puritans and levellers. 

Thus, when Mahomet turned his arms against Herzegovina, 
the Bogomiles showed their gratitude to their ducal benefactor, 
by rising en masse in his defence. They occupied the mountain 
passes, and while the craven Stephen shut himself up in his 
capital Mostar, and drowned his anxieties in his usual dissipa- 
tion, his brave Puritan adherents kept the Turks at bay on the 
frontier. One pass, however, had remained unoccupied. The 
Turks burst through it and beleagured the ducal city. The 
Bogomiles, however, still fought bravely, and made such suc- 
cessful sallies and flank attacks upon the enemy that the Turk, 
saw himself obliged to raise the siege. The rest of the country, 
however, was overrun, many castles of the Count of Popovo and 


Trebinje ^ taken, and this great magnate of the ducliy slain. 
The Duke saw himself forced to raise his tribute and send his 
son Stephen as a hostage to the Sultan. Two years later, in 
1466, Stephen Cosaccia died, and his duchy was shared by his 
two sons, Ladislav, who inherited the ducal title, and Vlatko. 
But Herzegovina had only gained a respite from complete sub- 
jugation.2 Twenty years after the overthrow of the Bosnian 
kingdom, in 1483, the Beglerbeg of Bosnia fell upon the Duchy 
of St. Sava, the two Christian princes were dispossessed, and 
the whole country incorporated in the Sandjakate of Bosnia. 
A renegade member of the ducal house, that Stephen whom the 
first duke had sent as a hostage to Mahomet, rose under the 
name of Ahmed Pasha to be grand vizier, and is known in 
Turkish annals as Herzekoglu.^ 

Amidst the universal ruin, the wife of the last lawful king of 
Bosnia, Stephen Thomas, is singled out by the grandeur of her 
misfortunes, and I have been tempted to collect a few details 
which may shed some halo of romance round the imhappy 
Catharine. After the murder of her husband by his bastard 
son Stephen and her brother Radivoj, Queen Catharine had 
lingered near his tomb in the Church of St. John at Sutisca, 
the burial-place of Bosnian kings, sheltered in the adjoining 

^ Including Ragatica, Cernica, Kecka, and Michiac. 

^ The Venetians at different times succeeded in extending their dominion 
over parts of Herzegovina. The coast-land (Primorie), including Macarska, 
Castelnuovo, &c., passed definitely into their hands in the sixteenth and 
{seventeenth centuries, to become at a later period the inheritance of Austria. 
Ihe Venetians at one time extended their suzerainty over the PopovoPolje, 
Gacko and Piva. In 1694 their Proveditor-General in Dalmatia, Delfino, 
took Gabella Citluk (Pocitelj) ; and their general, Marcello, pursued the 
Seraskier to Nevesinje. At this time the Christian inhabitants of the 
districts of Trebinje, Popovo, Klobud, and Grahovo (i.e. of much the same 
area as that of the latest Herzegovinian outbreak) rose agaiuvst the Pashas and^ 
Agas, and the Mussulman inhabitants. By the peace of Carlovitz in 1699 
the Herzegovinian towns of Citluk, Gabella, Cattaro, Castelnuovo, and 
Pisano, with Knin and Zengg and other places, were left in the hands of the 
Venetians ; and the only remaining strips of Herzegovinian coast-land, the 
narrow enclaves of Klek and Sutorina, were left to the Turks by English 
influence and Ragusan precaution, which feared Venetian contact. 

^ The Duke's son. 



convent which her own and her husband's piety had reared,^ 
and doubtful whether most to fear her husband's murderer or 
the terrible Sultan, who was advancing, avowedly, to avenge her. 
In the sacristery of the Convent of Sutisca, the Franciscan monks 
Btill treasure an antique picture, in which Christ appears in per- 
son to the kneeling king Stephen Thomas ; and legend says that 
it was in the monastery of his rearing that this vision befell the 
husband of Queen Catharine. Here, amidst all these sad and 
solemn memories, the widowed queen was engaged in embroider- 
ing some sacred vestments, when the news of the rapid advance of 
Mahomet, perhaps the sudden betrayal of the royal stronghold of 
Bobovac itself, only five miles distant, startled her from her pious 
task. In the sacristery of Sutisca, with the picture of King 
Thomas, the Franciscan monks showed long afterwards ^ ' a stole 
and a part of a chasuble embroidered in gold threads by a 
needle in a wonderful way, and delectable to the sight, which is 
said by immemorial tradition to have been the handiwork of 
Queen Catharine, the wife of King Thomas, who sleeps atKome, 
and which she left unfinished when she fled.' 

She, a woman of delicate health, the widowed Queen of 
Bosnia, the daughter of the Duke of St. Sava, on her mother's 
side^ tracing her lineage from the imperial race of the 
Comneni, fled away on foot through the passes of the Dinaric 
Alps, down the valley of the Narenta, across the inhospitable 
limestone desert that stretches, now as then, between her father's 
stronghold of Mostar and the sea, to Stagno, the old seaport of 
Bosnia. There she found a small boat, which carried her across 

* Possibly rather restored. A convent and royal residence (the two were 
generally combined by the Sclavonic princes) had certainly existed at Su- 
tisca much earlier, and as far back as 1278 a Ban, Stephen Kotromanovid, 
dates a diploma 'from our palace of " Suttisca." ' The convent reared by 
the pious Thomas and his Queen was destroyed by the Turks, but the Fran- 
ciscans obtained permission to rebuild it, and set a great cross there, which 
according to their own account (Relation of Bosnian Monks in Farlati) was 
made by St. Bemardin, ' and is most formidable to demons and drives oflf 
airy tempests.' Perhaps it acted as a lightning-conductor. 

" This account is taken from the relation of Bosnian monks * On the 
Present State of Bosnia,' supplied to Farlati in 1769. I have assumed above 
that the picture of King Thomas still exists. 

' Her mother was Helena Comnena, wife of Stephen Cosaccia. 


the gulf to the hospitable haven of Ragusa. At Ragusa she 
seems to have resided several years ; but in 1475 ^ she set forth 
on her pilgrimage once more, and passed the closing years 
of her life in the shelter of a Roman convent, distinguished by 
her charitable works, her meekness, and the patience with 
which she bore her misfortunes,^ but haunted even there by the 
craven conduct of her son Sigismund, who had renegaded to 
the creed of Mahomet. In 1477 Queen Catharine died, and 
was buried in the Church of the Virgin of Ara Cceli, in which 
by her orders a monument was reared to her memory.^ There, 
beside the feudal escutcheons of her husband's kingdom and 
her father's principality, on a foreign soil, and in a Roman 
sanctuary, reposes, as is fitting, the effigy of the exiled Queen 
of Bosnia, the last monument of the feudal kingdom, and of a 
dynasty essentially alien to the people over who^i it ruled. 

After her death two of her family appeared before Pope 
Sextus IV., and presented to him her will, in which she be- 
queathed her kingdom of Bosnia to the Holy Roman Church ; 
adding, however, the condition that if her son should return 
from the Turks, ' and the vomit of Mahomet,' he should be 
restored to his father's throne. As a token, her representatives 
handed over the Sword of the Realm, and the Royal Spurs, 
' which the Pontiff benignantly received, and ordered them to 
be placed, with the will, in the Apostolic archives.' * 

Meanwhile Mathias Corvinus was taking more effectual 
measures to recover at least a part of Bosnia for Christendom 
and Hungary. Within three months after the execution of 
Stephen Tomasevid he had taken the field, and in a short 
time recovered twenty-seven cities with almost the same 
rapidity as that of Mahomet's conquest. The whole of lower 

1 Waddingiis, Annates Minoriim, sub anno 1475. 

2 Waddingus, op. cit. sub anno 1478. 

' See frontispiece to this Historical Review of Bosnia. I have copied 
my ilkistration of the monument of Queen Catharine, from a representation 
of it as existing in 1677, in Alphonsi Ciacconii Vitce et Res Gestce Ponti/icum 
Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalium ab Augustino Oldoino recognitce, &c.y 
torn. iii. col. 41 (Rom^e, 1677). I do not know whether the monument is 
still existent. 

* Ciacconius, loc. cit. 




Bosnia, including what is now Turkish Croatia, the valley of 
the Verbas, the Bosnian Possavina, the old Bosnian Banats of 
Ussora and Podrinia, were for a while recovered.^ In Jaycze the 
spirit of the citizens had not been utterly crushed out even by 
the rigour of Mahomet and the Janissary tribute. Wifeless and 
childless for the most part, her burghers had not lost the hopes 
of vengeance and recovered liberty : they called on the Magyars 
to deliver them, and after a seventy days' siege the Turkish 
garrison yielded to the combined efforts of the besieging army 
and the citizens within. The great stronghold of the realm now 
received a Hungarian governor, and was forthwith made the 
capital of the new Banat of Jaycze, or as Mathias called it, 
to preserve the jus of the Hungarian Crown, the titulary king- 
dom of Bosnia.^ 

The ancient city of Jaycze, which now for many years 
becomes the Ilion of Turk and Hungarian, and the bulwark of 
the Christian world, derives its name, it is said, from its resem- 
blance in form to an egg, the Bosniac word for which is Jaica,^ 
and it has thus been compared with the Neapolitan fortress 
Castello del Ovo, reared by the Normans, Its high walls are still 
to be seen, rising on a rocky height at the confluence of the Pliva 
and Verbas ; and during the days of the Bosnian kingdom it was 
recognised as the capital of the realm, sharing with Bobovac 
the honour of being the favourite residence of the Bosnian kings. 
Nor did Jaycze owe this royal preference solely to an almost 
impregnable position. As a pleasance the site is equally al- 
luring, being environed by some of the most romantic moun- 
tain and forest scenery in the country, and overlooking not only 
the one Bosnian lake, but a waterfall which may compare with 
those of Norway. Here rose the Minorite convent of St. Catharine, 

* Foinica also appears to have belonged to Mathias. See the interest- 
ing diploma of 1409, by which he cedes it to Tomko Mergniavi6, given on 
p. 224. 

* Niklas Ujlak was made titulary king, and assumed the style Nicolaua 
Dei Gracia Rex Bosnia!. See diploma of 1464, given by Kerczelich, Histm'. 
Eccl. Zagrah. cap. xiii. p. 183 (cited by Schimek). With Nicklas' death 
even the titulary kingship of Bosnia died out, and his son, in a diploma of 
1492, styles himself simply Dux Boxncc. 

* Literally * a little e^^,"* the diminutive of ' Jaje^ an egg. 


'enriclied by many indulgences, obtained from Eome by the name- 
sake of the saint, the Queen whose melancholy fortunes we 
have just been tracing; and here, after the fall of Constanti- 
nople, the body of St. Luke (the greatest glory of Bosnia's latter 
days ! ) had found shelter till the invasion of Mahomet, when 
pious hands succeeded in transporting it to Venice. There it 
was deposited by the Doge Cristoforo Moro in the Church of St. 
Job : to the no small scandal of the neighbouring city of Padua, 
which possessed a rival trunk of the Evangelist. 

The history of Bosnia now centres around the fortifications 
of Jaycze. The city was again and again besieged by Mahomet 
and Bajazet ; but the citizens, amongst whom we learn were a 
large number of Bogomiles, ^ showed that, when under the inspi- 
ration of a sovereign like Mathias, they knew how to fight, and, 
while the town held out, Hungarian armies inflicted disastrous 
defeats on the Turks under its walls. In 1520 two generals of 
Sultan Solyman II., the Bey of Semendria and the Pasha of 
Turkish Bosnia, inflicted the severest blow on the Banat of 
Jaycze that it had yet experienced. The great stronghold of 
Zvornik, the key of the Podrinia, fell into the hands of the Turks, 
owing to the carelessness of the governor, who had failed to pro- 
vision it ; and two other important fortresses yielded to the panic, 
one Sokol, the other the rock citadel of Tesanj,^ the key af the 
province of Ussora. Jaycze, however, at that time had for 
governor a stout old soldier, Peter Keglevic, who had received 
wounds at Terentzin, and the successful defence of this city 
under his guidance is the last and perhaps the most romantic 
episode in the annals of Christian Bosnia. 

The Turks, finding all their efforts to take the city by open 
assault futile, had planned a night surprise, and, to disarm the 
suspicions of the governor, had retired out of sight of the city, 
as if to raise the siege. But Keglevic, who perhaps obtained 
his information from renegades in the Pasha's army, was made 
aware by means of his spies that the Turks were constructing a 
large number of ladders. The governor accordingly doubled 
the watch on the walls, lining them, where they were too low, 
with foot soldiers ; and was shortly made aware, by the same 

* Waddingus, sub anno 1478. ^ See p* 115. 


secret sources of information, that the retreating Turks had 
doubled round, and, making their way by stealth among the 
mountains and under cover of the forest, were encamped in a 
retired gorge not far from the town, intending to assault the 
walls by a sudden escalade in the hours before dawn. Peter 
showed himself quite equal to the occasion, and told off imme- 
diately a picked body of a hundred men to take their stand in 
the rear of the Turkish ambush, with orders to fall on the 
infidels at a signal given from a gun-shot. 

Nor were Keglevic's resources exhausted by this stratagem. 
It happened to be the eve of a feast-day, when the women and 
maidens of the town would in times of security go forth, as they 
still do through the length and breadth of Bosnia, to dance and 
sing on the forest lawns. Old Peter called the girls and merry 
wives of Jaycze around him, and bade them at earliest dawn to 
go forth, as if no foe were nigh, into the King's Mead,^ as the 
meadowland about the town was known long afterwards, and 
sing and play their shrillest — disarming their fears by telling 
them that he would be at hand to help them. 

Meanwhile the Turks, astir before sunrise for their planned 
attack, were shouldering their ladders for the escalade — when 
the distant sounds of the festal songs, and the Sclavonic dance- 
music, the plaintive note of the Grhuzla, and the shrill piping 
of the Svirala, broke the silence of the still morning air ; and 
peering down between the forest trunks they espied by the first 
faint light of dawn the maidens of Jaycze tripping the light fan- 
tastic toe right merrily on the green slopes opposite. This was 
enough ! Down fall the ladders from their backs, and forwards 
scurry the warriors, forgetful of everything but the sirens across 
the valley. Old Keglevid saw his opportunity, and sallying 
forth from the city, attacked them with a picked body of men, 
while the ambushed horsemen, true to the signal, swept down 
upon their rear. The Turks, in utter confusion, distracted by 
the double onslaught, surprised, perhaps scarcely armed, offered 
no resistance, and were cut down almost to a man. 

* Kraljevo Polje, perhaps * Field ' in the old English sense, would be a 
better rendering of rol/e. According to one account, it was the scene of the 
execution of the last idug of Bosnia. 


The Pasha, furious at this disaster, attacked Jaycze shortly 
afterwards with an army of 20,000 men, a long train of siege 
material, and eight cannon of large calibre ; ^ but Keglevid held 
out, and Frangepani advancing with an army of 16,000 men, 
defeated the Pasha and compelled him to raise the siege. Seven 
years, however, after his splendid defence of Jaycze, the brave old 
governor resigned his command, and his successor, a careless and 
unwarlike man, lost the fortress almost immediately. On the sur- 
render of Jaycze in 1527 the remaining towns of the Banat 
opened their gates to the Turks, and the whole of Bosnia to the 
Save passed irrecoverably into the hands of the Sultan. 

That the change was much regretted even by the Catholic 
population of the country may be doubted. The history of the 
Hungarian Banat of Jaycze is indeed less stained with religious 
persecutions than that of the earlier kingdom, but much of that 
feudal tyranny which had contributed in no unimportant man- 
ner to the conquest of Mahomet was still at work to alienate 
the wretched Bosnian peasants. We have the convincing tes- 
timony of an eyewitness, and a Doctor of the Eoman Catho- 
lic University of Bologna, that the rule of the Moslem was at 
this time looked upon as less oppressive than that of the petty 
Christian Bans and Barons. ' The Bosniacs,' says Montalbano, 
' are not so badly treated by the Turks, but that those subject 
to Christian rule are not worse oppressed by their own lords. 
And I myself have often seen no small multitude of country 
people, having burnt their own houses in their despair, flee 
with their wives and children and cattle and all that they pos- 
sessed, to the country under Turkish rule, for as much as the 
Turk extorteth little, save the tithe. And therefore has it hap- 
pened oftentimes that our armies in the last Hungarian wars, 
when they have crossed the Ottoman border, find not the 
Christian countrymen who, as they supposed, would be their 
friends and helpers ; or if so be they found them, they were hid in 
nooks, or intent upon their flight ; for no sufficient prohibition 
against outrages and robberies is possible with the army. They 
think themselves well off if haply their property and the 
honour of their women be left them uninjured ; whereas with 

* Tormenta Curulia. 


the Turks, by reason of their great obedience, these securities 
can be readily obtained.' ' 

Several desultory attempts have since been made on the part 
of the Hapsburgs to recover it : by the Markgrave Ludwig of 
Baden, in 1688 ; by Prince Eugene, in 1697, who pushed on as 
far as Bosna Serai itself, but gained nothing by his hasty dash ; 
and again in 1 736 by the imperial troops under the Prince of Saxe- 
Hildburghausen, which ended in the utter rout of the Austrian 
army, amounting, it is said, to 80,000 men, and such complete 
discomfiture, that Ali Pasha could boast that ' not a hoof of them 
was left behind.' ^ In 1790 Marshal Laudon took a few places 
in Bosnia, but the French Eevolution put a stop to these opera- 
tions, and all the towns captured in Bosnia were restored by 
the peace of Sistov.^ These later efforts may show that though 
the Emperor-King had resigned his claim over Bosnia by the 
peace of Passarovitz in 1718, Austria, in the last century at all 
events, had not resigned all hopes of recovering the old fief of 
the Hungarian Crown. 

There are very few materials '^ at hand for the history of Bosnia 
after the Turkish conquest, and we have little but theories to 
explain the extraordinary process of renegation which imme- 
diately set in, and which has given us a Sclavonic race of Ma- 

^ J. Bapt. Montalbano, Rerum Turcicarum Commentariu&, s.v. Bosnee 

^ A very interesting account of * the War in Bosnia,' during the years 
1737-9, has been left us by a native Bosnian historian, Omer Eifendi, of 
Novi, which was printed by Ibrahim in Ttirkish, and was translated into 
English by C. Eraser, and published by the * Oriental Translation Fund ' 
in 1830. 

■ Thoemmel, Vilajet Bosnien. 

* Of course there are plenty of accounts of border warfare carried on be- 
tween Bosnian Pashas and Agas and the Imperialists and Venetians, many 
of which have been collected by Schimek, whose work — which professes to 
be a political history of Bosnia — is absolutely silent as to the inner relations 
of the province for the last two centuries of Bosnian history after the con- 
quest, which he professes to describe. A more confused and purposeless 
tissue of wars and rumours of wars it is impossible to conceive. The diffi- 
culty of obtaining trustworthy materials for the history of Bosnia after the 
Turkish conquest has led me to confine n)y sketch of this period to a few 
g^'ncral remarks. I hope to discuss the subject more fully at some future 


hometans. From the earliest days of the conquest the Turks 
inaugurated the policy of allowing all those natives who would 
accept the religion of Islam to retain their lands and belong- 
ings, and we hear at once of a son of the King of Bosnia and 
another of the Duke of St. Sava turning Mahometan. It 
is certain that though the Catholic faction among the nobility was 
still powerful, a large number of even the highest rank in Bosnia 
were infected with the Bogomilian heresy; and it is probable that 
many rightful heirs of ancient houses had been dispossessed for 
heretical opinions by the dominant Romish caste, and were willing 
to recover their honours by at least nominally abjuring their re- 
ligion. By most, perhaps, the renegation was intended to be only 
temporary ; they ' bowed in the house of Eimmon ' merely to 
retain their honours. Not a few of these renegade families have 
preserved even to the present day many of their old Christian 
and perhaps heretical observances ; and it is whispered that there 
are still members of the old Bosnian aristocracy only waiting 
for a favourable opportunity to abjure Islam. With the bulk 
of the people the desire of lording it over their former Romish 
oppressors would often outweigh every religious consideration. 
It has been hinted already that the Puritans of Bosnia might 
find little repugnant to them in the service of the mosques, 
and we may perhaps suspect that the Manichseism which 
looked on Christ as one ^on, might accept Mahomet as another. 
Certain it is that a large part of the population of Bosnia went 
over to Mahometanism, and those who would deny that the 
majority of the converts belonged to the persecuted sect of 
the Bogomiles, must account for the curious diminution since 
the Turkish conquest of the heretics who immediately before it 
formed, as far as we can judge, the majority, certainly the most 
influential portion, of the population. 

Strange as seems the comparative disappearance of the Bogo- 
milian religion since the Turkish conquest, throughout a large 
part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the more minutely we enquire 
into Bosnian history the less insoluble does the problem appear. 
On the whole, the disappearance of the Bosnian Protestants was 
not so much due to voluntary renegation, though that played its 
part, as to a cause which I have already hinted at. In the 


days of the Bosnian kingdom the strength of these sectaries' 
lay in the towns ; and it was on the towns that the hand of 
the Turk fell heaviest. The citizens of Jaycze, and Jaycze 
was then a peculiar stronghold of the Bogomiles, like those 
of Kliu6, and like those of the other fenced cities throughout 
the land, saw their children snatched from them, to be forcibly 
converted to Islam, and to return as Janissaries and Mahometans 
to claim their heritage. Nay, more, we have the direct evidence 
of an eyewitness and contemporary that the Janissaries were 
largely recruited from the children of the Bogomiles.' At the 
end of the fifteenth and in the sixteenth century there were still 
Bogomiles in Bosnia ; but how many of them were wifeless and 
childless! We have historic proofs that the Bogomiles who 
existed in Jaycze in 1478 had lost their heirs; their children 
were already Moslemized; — how many, we may ask, outlived that 
generation ? and how few could have survived the consequences 
of the second captivity of Jaycze in 1527 ! In Herzegovina, 
where at the moment of Turkish conquest the Bogomiles were 
proportionally more numerous, and where their attitude, in con- 
tra-distinction to their Turcophile manifestations in Bosnia, had 
been one of open defiance to the conqueror, their calamity must 
have been even more overwhelming ; and if the Turks bore so 
hardly on their Jayczan benefactors, what mercy could have 
been meted to the Bogomilian defenders of Mostar ? ^ 

Whatever were the favouring causes of this wide-spread re- 
negation, its effect has been to afford us the unique phenomenon 
of Mahometan feudalism and the extraordinary spectacle of 
a race of Sclavonic Mahometans. This must be borne in mind 
at the present moment, for nothing is more liable to confuse 
the questions at issue than to look on the Mussulman inhabi- 
tants of Bosnia and the Herzegovina as Turks. Conventionally, 
perhaps, one is often obliged to do so, and I must plead guilty 
in this respect in the course of this work. But it should always 
be remembered that, with the exception of a handful of officials 
and a certain proportion of the soldiery, the Mahometan inhabi- 

» J. Bapt. Montalbano, loc. cit. The writer had visited Bosnia, appa- 
rently in the days of the Banat of Jaycze. 
"* See p. Ixxx. 


tants of Bosnia and the Herzegovina are of the same race as their 
Christian neighbours, speak the same Serbian dialect, and can 
trace back their title-deeds as far. It is a favourite delusion to 
suppose that the case of Bosnia finds a parallel in that of Serbia ; 
that here, too, an independent Christian principality could be 
formed with the same ease, and that the independence of Bosnia 
has but to be proclaimed for the Mussulman to take the hint 
and quit the soil, as he has already quitted the soil of Serbia. 

But, as I have said, the cases of the two provinces are alto- 
gether different ; in Serbia the Mahometans were an infinitesi- 
mal minority of Osmanli foreigners, encamped ; in Bosnia, on the 
contrary, they are native Sclaves, rooted to the soil, and forming 
over a third of the population. Under whatever government 
Bosnia passes, it is safe to say that the Mahometans will still 
form a powerful minority, all the more important from having 
possession of the towns. 

Nor must we omit another characteristic which marks off 
the Christian Bosniacs from their Serbian neighbours. As 
Bosnia of old was the debateable ground between the Roman 
Catholics and the Bogomiles, so, to-day, she is distracted between 
the adherents of the Eastern and Western Churches, who hate 
each other more cordially than the infidel. It might have been 
thought that the disappearance of Bogomilism would have re- 
signed the country to the Catholics and Mahometans, for the 
orthodox Grreek element is conspicuous by its absence in the 
general current of mediaeval Bosnian history. But it was there 
nevertheless, and in the eastern parts of the country was even 
then the dominant creed. The conquest of Eascia by Tvartko 
I. brought a Grreek province under the Bosnian sceptre, and 
though the Bosnian hold on Rascia was slight, the Greek Metro- 
politan appears at the Conventus of Coinica among the great 
magnates of the realm. Since the Turkish conquest the Sandja- 
kate of Rascia or Novipazar has been incorporated in the Vila- 
jet of Bosnia, and by this means alone a large Greek-Church 
element has been added to the present province. Nor, if we 
consider the history of Bosnia since the Turkish conquest, is it 
difficult to trace the process by which even in Bosnia proper and 
the Herzegovina, the Eastern Chm'ch has risen to a dominant 


position. The Eoman Catholics of Bosnia have at different 
times during the last three centuries migrated in large numbers 
into Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia, where they found shelter 
among their co-religionists, and it appears that the Grreek popu- 
lation to the South and East, who had less temptation to cross 
the borders of Latin Christendom, have largely colonized the 
country thus vacated.^ The Eoman Catholic population who re- 
mained, their ecclesiastical organization broken up by these 
migrations, must in many cases have been absorbed in the con- 
gregation of the intrusive Serbs, and indeed, as has been already 
pointed out, the Eoman Church in Illyria was to a great extent 
only Eoman in its higher organization. 

The extraordinary phenomenon that presents itself in the 
history of Bosnia under Turkish rule, is that till within the last 
few years it has been simply the history of the feudal Kingdom, 
under altered names and conditions. A Mahometan caste has 
tyrannised in place of a Popish — a Turkish Vizier has feebly 
represented the Suzerainty of the Osmanli Grand Siguier, just 
as of old we find Hungarian Bans or Kings representing tlie 
Overlordship of a Magyar King. The survival of the feudal 
nobility has been perfect. The great Bosnian lords, now calling 
themselves Begs or Capetans, resided still in the feudal castles 
reared by their Christian ancestors ; they kept their old 
escutcheons, their Sclavonic family names, their rolls and 
patents of nobility inherited from Christian Kings ; they led 
forth their retainers as of old under their baronial banners, and 
continued to indulge in the chivalrous pastime of hawking. 
The common people, on the other hand, have climg to their 
old Sclavonic institutions, their sworn brotherhoods, their village 
communities, their house-fathers ; and have paid, and pay still, 
the same feudal dues to their Mahometan lords as they did 
to their Christian ancestors. 

But though in political affairs, language, and customs, so 
much of the Prae-Tui'kish element has survived — though there 

* To this westward and northward immigration of Serbs and Rasciaiis I 
am inclined to attribute the peculiarity of many of the Bosnian Piesme, 
the half mythical heroes of which are taken rather from the history of the 
Serbs proper than of the Bosnians. 


are still to be found many secret observances of Christian rites 
among Mahometans in high places, — it would be a grievous 
error to suppose that the influence of Islam is superficial in 
Bosnia, or that their religious convictions are not deep-rooted. 
On the contrary, the Sclavonic Mahometans of Bosnia, occupying 
an isolated corner of the Sultan's dominions, have not been 
so liable to those external influences which at Stamboul itself 
have considerably modified the code of true believers. The 
Bosniac Mussulmans have had their religious antagonism per- 
petually roused by wars with the unbelievers who compass them 
round about ; they, more than the Levantine Moslems, have 
borne the brunt of the long struggle with Christendom. 

Add to this what the reader will have already perceived, that 
in Bosnia fanaticism is an inheritance from Christian times ; that 
the renegaded Bogomiles have inherited the hatred they bear to 
the Christian rayah both of the Eastern and Romish Churches, 
from the days when these rival sectaries persecuted them with- 
out mercy. 

Thus it is that Bosnia is the head-quarters of Mahometan 
fanaticism, and that when, at the beginning of this century. 
Sultan Mahmond II. endeavoured to introduce his centralising 
innovations and reforms into Bosnia, which also promised the 
Christians a certain amount of religious liberty, he found him- 
self opposed here not only by the feudal caste, who rallied round 
the Janissaries, but by a race of Mahometans whose religion 
had assumed a national character of a more fanatical hue than 
was fashionable in the capital. The wars between the Giaour 
Sultan, as the Bosniac Mussulmans contemptuously called the 
head of their faith, and his refractory vassals, have been de- 
scribed by Eanke,^ and need not be dwelt on here. It was not 
till 1851 that Omer Pasha finally succeeded in breaking the 
resistance of Mahometan feudalism in Bosnia, and re-subjugated 
the country for the Sultan. Since that date the privileges of 
the native nobility have been greatly curtailed, and Sclavonic 
Mussulman and Sclavonic Christian alike have bowed before a 
new Osmanli bureaucracy. 

^ Die letzten Unriihen in Bosnien (translated into English by Mrs. Alex- 
ander Kerr, and published in Bohn's series). 


That the state of the country has not improved since that 
date may perhaps be gathered from the following pages. 
That at the moment of Omer Pasha's conquest some good 
was done by breaking the strength of Bosnian feudalism, and 
setting a limit on the exactions of the native Mahometan land- 
holders, is undeniable. The most turbulent of the native aristo- 
cracy were proscribed ; the most galling of their feudal privi- 
leges were taken from them, and the Christians who had helped 
the Osmanli in this second Turkish conquest of Bosnia received 
at the moment some partial compensation at the expense of 
their former lords. But when the Osmanli ceased to garrison 
the country and prolonged his occupation in a bureaucratic 
form, it lay in the very nature of things that he should con- 
ciliate as far as possible those whose opposition was most formid- 
able to him, his co-religionists, namely, the Bosniac Mahome- 
tans. Thus it is that since the period immediately succeeding 
Omer Pasha's conquest the state of the Christian population has 
suffered a relapse, while in the Herzegovina, more especially, as 
I have shown elsewhere, the tyranny of the old feudal caste has 
recrudesced, and the misera contribuens plebs of those coun- 
tries has to bear a double burden of extortion, from the land- 
owner who represents the old regime and the Turkish officials 
and middle-men who represent the new ; so that now the Christian 
rayah sees himself forced to serve two masters where he served one 
before. The present Grovemment of Bosnia consists of a small 
body of foreign Osmanli officials, speaking, in many cases, a lan- 
guage which is unintelligible to the native Sclaves ; ill educated, 
totally unable to check the malpractices of their agents even 
when they themselves have honest intentions. Though often, let 
it be said to their credit, less bigoted themselves, they are alto- i 
gether unable to place a restraint on the fanaticism which is the 1 
sad characteristic of the native Mussulman, and are well aware 
that, were they to attempt to introduce those reforms whicli look 
so well on paper, the native Mussulmans would hound them out 
of til 6 country. 

The more we examine the character of the Osmanli govern- 
ment in Bosnia, the more unstable, artificial and mischievous 
does it appear. The centralization introduced by the ' New 


Turks ' has struck at the roots of many of the most promising 
elements which Bosnia had inherited from the past, and the sub- 
stitution of the authority of Osmanli jprefets^ in the place of 
the old municipal councils of the towns, may be cited as a single 
example of the mischievous tendency of these innovations. The 
chief argument of those who wish to see the rule of the Osman- 
lis upheld in Bosnia is that they act as a police to keep tlie 
peace between the warring elements of the native population. 
It would not be difficult to cite isolated instances where the 
, Osmanli has acted this part, and some will be found in the fol- 
i lowing pages ; but it will be found, as a rule, that the Turkish 
rulers in Bosnia never put themselves out to control the Maho- 
metan element of Bosnia, except when under the surveillance of 
European Consuls, or in their dealings with Franciscan monks, 
who are virtually Austrian officials. On the whole, it would be 
more true to say that the Osmanli has prolonged his rule in 
Bosnia by playing on the jealousies of castes and creeds. 

The Osmanli government in Bosnia is, and has been, a 
government oi finesse. It has no elements of stability about it, 
and nothing has been more prominently brought out by the 
present insurrection than its utter impotence. The foreign 
bureaucracy in Bosnia has seen itself haughtily thrust aside by 
the native Mahometans. Its manoeuvres have utterly failed to 
conciliate the one class whose affections they were designed to 
seduce, and at the present moment there is one point on which 
the Mahometans and Christians of Bosnia are both agreed, 
and that is in abhorrence of the rule of the Osmanli. 
Nor should it be overlooked that two of the greatest evils 
that at present afflict Bosnia are intimately bound up with the 
continuance of Turkish rule. One is the use of the Osmanli 
language in official documents and in the law-courts ; the other 
is the direct contact into which Bosnia is brought with the cor- 
ruption of Stamboul. It is impossible that the rayah should 
secure justice in the law-courts, or at the hands of the government 
officials and middle-men, when his case or the contract into 
which he enters with the tax-farmers must be drawn up in a 
language utterly unintelligible to him, and by the hands of 
those who are interested in perverting the instrument of the 


law to injustice and extortion. It is impossible that the 
material resources of Bosnia, magnificent as they are, should be 
developed to the good of her civilization, while the enterprise of 
Europe has first to satisfy what is insatiable — the avarice of the 
Divan. The Bosniacs themselves are still blessed with many of 
the virtues of a primitive people, and left to themselves might 
secure honesty and justice in their public officers. At present 
the Bosnian employes must first learn their Osmanli language, 
and imbibe the secrets of Osmanli government, at the source 
and seminary of Turkish demoralization ; and the alien bureau- 
cracy which results, acts in Bosnia as a propaganda of cor- 

Why not then sever a connection as malign as it is artificial ? 
Why not divorce Stamboul from Bosnia, and erect an inde- 
pendent State under an European guarantee ? The democratic 
genius of the people would suggest a Eepublic as the best form 
of government, but the divided state of the country would pre- 
clude such a goverrunent to begin with, and a Principality after 
the model of free Serbia might combine Parliamentary govern- 
ment with the coherence of a monarchy. 

When it is recognised by what an extremely precarious 
tenure the Porte holds Bosnia at present, and it is remembered 
that the chief aim of the native Mahometans, as of the native 
Christians, is Provincial Independence, even Englishmen may 
be inclined to accept the conclusion that the present connection 
between Bosnia and the hated government of the Osmanli must 
be severed ; the more so as the geographical configuration and 
position of Bosnia — a peninsula connected only with the rest of 
Turkey by a narrow neck — make it almost impossible to hold 
out against a serious invasion, and put it always at the mercy 
of foreign agitators. 

Such a revolution may seem an Utopian dream ; but when the 
purely artificial character of the present government of Bosnia 
is realized, it would be an impertinence to the confederate 
statesmanship of Europe to suppose that it was unable to effect 
it. For the moment, however, the ultimate form of Bosnian 
government is a question of secondary importance to the para- 
mount necessity of re-establishing order in that unhappy land. 


At the moment that I write this, nearly 3,000 Bosnian and Her- 
zegovinian villages and scattered hamlets are blackened ruins, and 
over 200,000 Christian refugees are starving among the inhospit- 
able ravines of the Dalmatian Alps. In the interests of humanity, 
as well as of European peace, in discharge of responsibilities which 
no adroitness of European statesmanship can disavow, an armed 
occupation of Bosnia by civilized forces has become indispensable. 
When the Christian population of Bosnia have been rescued from 
. the grave that yawns before them, when the robber bands of 
fanaticism have been disarmed, and the remnant of the refu- 
gees enabled to return to what were once their homes; then it 
will be time for the governments of civilized Europe to turn 
their energies to securing the necessary reforms, and to re- 
establishing the administration of the country on a sounder 

Discordant as are. the political materials in Bosnia, fanatic 
asareth<' Christiauy as well as the Mahometans, I feel con- 
vinced fliat there exist elements of union in that unhappy 
countrv which miglit be moulded together by wise hands. The 
wrongv of tlie Christians in Bosnia have been intolerable, and I 
have '^hown my abhorrence of the present tyranny with sufficient 
emphasis in the c-ourse of this book ; but I may take this oppor- 
tunity of deprecating any sympathy with those who propose to 
deal with the Mussulman population of Bosnia in a spirit of 
Christian fanaticism. The whole history of Bosnia from the 
beginning has been one long commentary on the evils of estab- 
lished religions. Whatever terms the Grreat Powers may wish 
to impose on Bosnia and the Turks, let England at all events 
exert her influence against any setting up of an ecclesiastical 
tyranny. In the interests of all the warring creeds which dis- 
tract the country, let the secular character of the future govern- 
ment be beyond suspicion. Let an European guarantee secure 
to the Mahometan minority of Bosnia the free exercise of their 
religion and complete equality before the law, and half the battle 
of conciliation will have been won. But let it once be supposed 
that Greek popes under the tutelage of Kussia, or Franciscan 
monks under the patronage of the Apostolic Monarchy which 
still sets at nought, in Tyrol, the first principles of religious 



liberty, are to be allowed to lord it over the true believers ; once 
encourage the hopes of Christian bigotry and the fears of Islam, 
and the miserable struggle will prolong itself to the bitter end. 

So far indeed from the sway of Christian denominationalism 
being in any sense possible in Bosnia, it must be frankly ad- 
mitted, distasteful as the admission may be to some, that if an 
autonomous or partially autonomous state be established, a pre- 
ponderating share in the government, saving European control, 
must for many years remain in the hands of the Mahometan 
part of the population. True that much of the present op- 
pression is due to them ; but they are the only class in Bosnia 
at present capable of holding the reins of government ; they 
are more upright, and certainly not more fanatically bigoted, 
than the Christian Bosniacs. The weight of hereditary bond- 
age cannot be shaken off in a day, and the majority of the 
Christian population are still too ignorant and cringing to 
govern their hereditary lords. True, that the Bosniac Maho- 
metans are a minority ; but it must be remembered that the 
Christians are divided into two sects, the Grreek and the Latin, 
each of which regards its rival with greater animosity than the 
Moslem ; nor can there be any reasonable doubt that, in the 
event of the establishment of a representative Assembly, or 
Bosnian ' Sbor\ the Mahometans would secure the alliance of 
the Roman Catholic contigent, and would by this means ob- 
tain a working majority. 

European surveillance is in any case an absolute necessity 
for securing the introduction of reforms, but there are no other 
conditions more favourable to its successful working than those 
above indicated. To reinforce the government of the Osmanli 
would of all solutions be the most deplorable. It would be to 
give a new lease of life to all that is worst in the present state of 
Bosnia. It would be a gage of future anarchy and a perpetua- 
tion of corruption. I have far too much confidence in the 
slirewdness of the Oriental mind to suppose for a moment that 
the desired reforms would not be temporarily introduced under 
the eyes of Europe. But the instant that supervision was re- 
moved, the instant that the forces necessary for the enforce- 
ments of the reforms were withdrawn, the Osmanli government 


in Bosnia would relapse into what it is at present, — a foreign 
bureaucracy, which, powerless to support the Sultan's authority 
against the Conservative opposition of native Mussulmans, is 
reduced to pander to it. The old game of playing with the 
antagonisms of castes and creeds would be revived, the reforms 
would disappear one by one, and the smouldering elements of 
Christian discontent would once more burst forth in a confla- 
gration, which might eventually light up the ends of Europe. 

The great difficulty that statesmen have to contend with at 
the present moment is how to obtain certain elementary se- 
curities for the honour and property of an oppressed class 
of ignorant peasants, in the teeth of a haughty and oppressive 
ruling caste. To reverse the positions of serf and lord would 
be impossible. To bolster up a Christian government in the 
country, and after depriving the dominant caste of what it con- 
siders its hereditary dues, and stripping it of part of its posses- 
sions, to place it forcibly beneath the yoke of those whom it de- 
spises as slaves and abominates as idolaters, would need more 
supervision than Europe would be willing to accord ; nor is it 
likely that anything short of perpetual armed occupation would 
succeed in enforcing such reforms, or in preventing the prolon- 
gation of an exterminating civil war. 

It is then of primary necessity to conciliate the Mahometan 
caste of landlords and retainers, still hungering for abolished 
feudal privileges, and the Mahometan bourgeoisie of the towns, 
who in days of bureaucratic centralization sigh for their 
municipal privileges suppressed by the Osmanli. And such a 
means of reconciling the Mahometan population of Bosnia to 
the new order of things can be found, — by sacrificing the 
Osmanli. Turn out the sowers of Bosnian discord. Do not 
prevent the Mahometan gentry from taking that position in the 
country to which by their territorial possessions, according to 
English ideas, they are entitled. Let a native magistracy suc- 
ceed the satellites of a foreign bureaucracy ; revive the civic in- 
stitutions of the towns, and the native Begs and Agas, as well 
as the descendants of the old municipal Starescina, will be only 
too glad to come to terms with the Great Powers. 

The dominant caste in this way compensated, European 


supervision, of whatever kind, would work with at least a possi- 
bility of success in introducing the necessary reforms ; nor, the 
period of probation concluded, and European control removed, 
is there any need for taking the pessimist view that the govern- 
ment of Bosnia would lapse into the ' autonomy of a cock-pit.' 
In the very nature of things the present difficulties have brought 
the worst and most fanatical elements of Bosnia to the surface, 
and in face of the ferocious deeds of Bosnian Ahmed Agas and 
their feudal train of murderous Bashi Bazouks, the more sensi- 
ble and kindly side of Bosnian Mahometanism is liable to be 
overlooked. I have already observed that it is wrong for 
Christians to build too great expectations on the fact that many 
of the Mahometan nobles of Bosnia still preserve some of their 
old Christian practices, and on occasion take Franciscan monks 
as their ghostly advisers. Still the fact remains, to show that 
from some points of view they are not irreconcilable, and that 
the gulf between Christianity and Islam is not so wide among 
the more educated classes as it is no doubt among the town- 
rabble. The most influential Christian in the whole country, 
Bishop Strossmayer, whose liberalism commands European 
esteem, stands on a most friendly footing with many of the 
leading Mahometan families in Bosnia, and when he visits his 
Bosnian diocese has the satisfaction of seeing true-believers 
flock to hear his sermons.^ The brutal contempt of the Maho- 
metan lord for the rayah is by no means universal, and even 
in Herzegovina, he at times so far conforms to the kindly de- 
mocratic usage of the race as to address his Christian serf as brat 
or brother.^ A few years ago the native aristocracy of Bosnia 
showed by its secret negotiations with the Serbian government 
that at a pinch it was not altogether averse to making common 
cause with the Giaour. In the rural districts of Bosnia and 
the Herzegovina religious animosity has never been so em- 
bittered as in the towns. I have myself seen the tombs of the 
departed Christians and the departed Moslems of a Herze- 
govinian village gathered together in the same God's acre, and 

^ I am indebted to Cnnon Liddon for this valuable information. Ou 
such occasions the bishop generally takes his text from the Sermon on the 

« M. de Ste. Marie. 


separated only by a scarcely perceptible path. In many parts 
the Mahometan peasants have suffered almost as much oppression 
as their Christian neighbours, and during the present insurrec- 
tion there have been instances in which they have made common 
cause with the Christian rayah. 

If this religious antagonism can once be overcome, there 
seem to be many hopeful elements left us even in Bosnia. The 
temperament of the Southern Sclaves is preeminently kindly 
and easy-going, and nothing but the interested wiles of the 
Osmanli, to whom Bosnian union meant his own expulsion, 
could have checked the development of a spirit of toleration. 
We have in Bosnia a common language and a common national 
character bom of the blood; and that national character, whatever 
may be said to the contrary, is not prone to revolution. It is slow, 
it is stubborn, it is not easily roused, and it possesses a fund of 
common sense which has led a keen French observer to compare 
the Serbian genius with the English.^ The Bosniacs are of 
a temperament admirably fitted for parliamentary government, 
and what is more, owing to their still preserving the relics of 
the free institutions of the primitive Sclaves, they are familiar 
with its machinery. In their family-communities, in their 
village councils, the first principles of representative govern- 
ment are practised every day. Orderly government once estab- 
lished by the commanding, influence which powerful neighbours 
could exercise for pacification if they chose, the development 
of the natural resources of the country would follow as a matter 
of course. I have elsewhere alluded to the fact that, besides 

' Ami Boue. In corroboration of this I may cite the testimony of an 
English traveller, Edmund Spencer : — ' While attending the Parliamentary 
debates of the Skuptchina, I was much struck with the self-possessed, 
dignified air of the almost unlettered orators, who were earnest without 
violence, impassioned without intemperance, depending rather on the force 
of their arguments than the strength of their lungs and theatrical ge.-ticu- 
lations, to win the attention of their auditors. The Serb'^ resemble us in 
more than one particular : they have the same dogged resolution, the same 
love of fair play, the same detestation of the use of the knife, together with 
no inconsiderable portion of that mixture of the aristocratic and democratic 
in th*^ir character which so especially distinguishes the Angl )-Saxon race.' 
I'he last remark is now peculiarly applicable to the Bosnian branch of the 
Serbs. . " 


supplying the Romans and the Ragusans in the Middle Ages 
with incalculable wealth of gold and silver, the Bosnian moun- 
tains are known to contain some of the richest veins of quick- 
silver in Europe ; that iron and other ores are abundant, and 
that the valley of the principal river is one vast coal-bed. All 
these sources of wealth and prosperity, and consequent civili- 
zation, are at present, as I show elsewhere, inaccessible, owing 
simply to the corruption of Stamboul. 

Besides such decentralizing reforms in the provincial consti- 
tution as connect themselves with the discontinuance of the 
direct government of the Osmanli, it may be well to cite some 
of the more obvious measures necessary to secure the order 
and well being of Bosnia. The present insurrection, as I have 
been at some pains to point out, was in its origin mainly 
agrarian, and no reform can be satisfactory which does not 
secure the tiller of the soil a certain portion of it for himself. 
The intolerance of all classes of the Bosnian population is the 
natural offspring of the gross ignorance in which they are 
steeped, and it must be confessed that the want of education is 
largely due to the clerical character of the schools where they 
exist and to the malign teachings of odium theologicuni, ' The 
result of the present system,' says a recent observer, ' is evident 
and it is fatal. The Grreek children under the Higumen, the 
Catholics under the Franciscan priest, the Mussulmans under 
the Ulema, go to school to learn to hate each other, and in fact 
this is the only lesson which as men they take care to remem- 
ber,' ^ That a certain part of the revenues of the province should 
be set apart for education of a purely secular kind is a crying 
necesaity, and the establishment of high schools at Serajevo, 
Travnik, Banjaluka, Mostar, and other large towns under the 
auspices of the University of Agram, but equally secular in 
their character, might be suggested as a good way of remedying 
the want of higher culture. For the moral, as well as the mate- 
rial, elevation of the rayahs of the Greek Church it is of the 
highest importance that they should be liberated from the 
corrupt rule of the Fanariote hierarchy, and it might be well 
to revive the national Sclavonic patriarchate, not at Ipek but at 

^ M. Yriai'te, Bonnie et Jlerzcf/ovine, p. 245, 


Serajevo. To foster the development of the great resources of 
the country, greater facilities for obtaining concessions of mines 
should be accorded to foreign capitalists ; the completion of the 
Bosnian railway, and its junction with Eoumelian and Serbian 
lines, should be secured ; and measures should be taken to 
overcome the selfish financial policy of Austria, which shuts 
off Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the only two seaports, the 
narrow enclaves of Klek and Sutorina, which still remain to 

A few vigorous strokes like these levelled by the united 
strength of Europe at the ignorance, bigotry, and industrial de- 
pression of this unhappy land, could not long be without their 
result. It is a mistake to suppose that Islam really opposes 
itself to culture ; and were the means of obtaining a liberal 
education, free from the taint of Christian bigotry, placed 
within the reach of the Mahometan Begs and burghers, there is 
no reason to suppose that they would refuse their sons the 
benefit of it. 

On the whole, however, it is safe to assume that the influx 
of Western civilization into Bosnia would tend to strengthen 
the Christian element. The fatalistic temper of the Maho- 
metan dominant caste cripples their commercial energies. As 
the natural resources of the country were developed, wealth 
would fall more and more into the hands of the Christians, 
and the balance of political power would infallibly incline in 
their favour. In the course of a generation they might assume 
the reins of government, which, as I have pointed out, in spite 
of their numerical superiority, they are at present incapable of 
holding. The way would thus be paved for a closer union 
with the Christian border-provinces of kindred blood, Serbia 
and Montenegro, and Bosnia might ultimately form a province 
of a great South-Sclavonic confederation, extending from the 
Black Sea to the Adriatic, which should act as a constitutional 
bulwark against the encroaching despotism of the North. 

To suppose that the freedom of the Sclaves of the South, of 
the Bosniacs, the Serbs of Old Serbia, and Bulgarians, will, when 
accomplislied — and sooner or later there is no doubt that it must 
be accomplished — add to the strength of Eussia, because in 


language they are somewhat similar, is as if anyone should have 
opposed the liberation and unity of Italy on the score that it 
would be aggrandizing France. If the French ever had designs 
on Rome they are infinitely less likely to arrive at them now than 
wlien an Austrian Archduke governed in Lombardy, and Bomba 
ruled at Naples. Grranted that the Russians have designs on Con- 
stantinople, are they more likely to gain it from a decrepit Power 
which can scarcely hold its own provinces, or from a new Power 
or Powers endued with all the vigour of young nationality ? 
To leave a country like Bosnia, isolated from the rest of Turkey, 
surrounded by free States, to perpetuate agitation within its 
borders, is only to weaken what remains of Turkey, and to play 
into the hands of Russia, Cousinship is not always a gage of 
amity; and the day, perhaps, is not far distant when the Sclavonic 
races of the Balkan Peninsula will look upon Russia as their most 
insidious foe. 




Slovenization in Styria — llegvets of a Prussian — Agram — Tier Sclavonic 
Features, Hero, Art, and Architecture — Flowers of the Market-place — 
Croatian Costume — Prehistoric Ornament and Influence of Oriental Art 
— South Sclavonic Crockery, Jewelry, and Musical Instruments — Heir- 
looms from Trajan or Heraclius ? — Venice and Croatia— Croatian Gift 
of Tongues — Lost in the Forest — A Bulgarian Colony — On to Karlovac 
— The Welsh of Croatia — Croatian Characteristics — Karlovac Fair — 
On the Outposts of Christendom. 

As the train from Vienna descends into the valley of the 
Drave a change becomes perceptible in the scattered cot- 
tages and liamlets that fly past us. The dark wooden 
chalets of the Semmering valleys, tliat recall Salzburg and 
Tyrol and more distant Scandinavia, give place to meaner 
I huts, less roomy, lower, paler, more rectangular. Eich 
1 maroon-brown beams that seem to have grown up with 
I the pines around, dark projecting eaves that overhang 
I the time-stained fronts as the shadowy fir-branches the 
\ primeval trunks — all these give place to wattle and daub 
and chilling whitewash. The eaves are now less promi- 
nent ; but if the houses are comparatively browless, there 
is a pair of window eyelets under the trilateral gable, and 
their physiognomy is recognised at once. These are the 




huts you have seen far away on the Sclavonic outskirts of 
Hungary. You have seen them dotted about Bohemia 
and the sandy plains of Prussia ; you have seen them 
magnified and embellished into the old palaces of Prague. 
As we approach Marburg we are entering in truth on 
another world — a Sclavonic tongue begins to be heard 
around. Those mountain-chalets were the high water 
mark of tlie Germanic sea. 

For the tide has turned. Marburg, a few years ago 
reckoned a German town, is now almost entirely Sloven- 
ized. The tradesmen — nay, the well-to-do classes them- 
selves — speak Slovene in preference to German. A fellow- 
traveller told me that since the Austro-Prussian war Slo- 
vene instead of German had become the language of the 
ischools. Cut off' from her German aspirations, the Austrian 
Government has seen the necessity of making friends with 
the Sclavonic Mammon ; and, as she distrusts those mem- 
bers of the race who, like the Czechs and Croats, cherish 
memories of independent kingship, her statesmen have 
cast about them for a Sclavonic race free from any mis- 
guiding ' Kronen-tradition,' and have consequently been 
exalting the horn of the Slovenes, who inhabit Southern 
Styria and parts of Carinthia and Carniola, at the expense 
of the Germans of the towns, and partly even of the 
Carniolan Wends, wdiose language is akin to the Slovene. 
The painful impression produced by this turn of the 
tables on the Germans — who look on Austria as a mere 
warming-pan for themselves in Eastern Europe — is amus- 
ingly betrayed by a recent Prussian traveller, Maurer, who 
visited Marburg in 1870. 'Another ten years,' says he, 
' and Marburg will be as Slovenish as its immediate sur- 
roimdings. ... It was extremely painful to me (ausserst 


peinlich) to see the children at Steinbriick going to or 
coming from school with books in which the text and 
objects were Slovene ; although these little ones, even 
the smallest of them, had our language at their fingers'- 
end so completely that they seemed never to have spoken 
any other. . . . We must not spare ourselves the realisa- 
tion of the bitter truth that the greater part of Styria and 
Carinthia, and the whole of Carniola, Gorizia, Gradisca, 
and Istria, with the avenue to the Adriatic, are lost to us. 
Even supposing the whole of Southern Germany to have 
been fused with Northern, and the German element in 
Austria either under compulsion or of its free will to have 
followed the already torn away Bohemia and Moravia * — 
(the Berliner looks on the annexation of the Czech king- 
dom as a mere work of time) — ' even then we should 
have neither tlie might nor the right — though it matters 
less about the right (!) — to break forcibly through lUyria 
to the Adriatic. And yet our dreaminess and disregard 
of the facts before us made us look on Trieste and these 
former lands of the German Bund as our inheritance.'^ — 
These poor Prussians ! 

But the Slovenes are left behind — as the train hurries 
along the willowed valley of the Save we find ourselves 
among a population less Eiu:opean in its dress, and soon 
arrive at Agram, the capital of Croatia, where we dis- 
cover a fair hotel in the High Street. The aspect of the 
town at once strikes the stranger as other than German. 
What are these long, low, rectangular houses but slightly 
enlarged reproductions of the Sclavonic cottage ? Here 
is the same pervading pallor, the twin eyelet windows, 

^ Franz Maurer, 'Reise durcli Bosnien, die Savelnndev und Ungarn,' 
Berlin, 1870, p. 45. 



circular here, and pierced in the trilateral gables like owl- 
holes in an old barn. The gables themselves — more 
modest than the generality of those in Teutonic towns — 
«eem to shrink from facing the street. Outside some 
of the older houses is to be seen a wooden gallery, 
festooned perhaps with flowers and creepers, on to 
which the room-doors open — it strikes one as an ap- 
proach to the Turkish verandah, the Divanhane. The 

Jlliiijli: li^^ } ^ 

' ' ,'||l//|(lllltillllill;l/(\Vllli 

Croatian Clothes-shop, Agrani. 

headings over the shops are almost entirely Sclavonic. 
Brilliant, quite Oriental, are the stores w^here the gay 
Croatian costumes are hung out to tempt the passing 
peasant. Picturesque are the windows, shut in by fohated 
bars and gratings of efflorescent ironwork ; strange, 
too, the doors and shutters, crossed diagonally by iron 


bars of really artistic merit, decked at the point of 
intersection by a heraldic rose, and the limbs of the 
Maltese cross terminating in graceful fleurs-de-lys. Not 
that the object of all these is primarily ornament. 
These quadruple bolts and locks, these massive hinges 
and the holdfasts by them inside, which fit into sockets 
as in our safes, and so prevent the door from being burst 
open by hacking through the hinges from without — all 
these tell a different story. Tliey speak of times when 
the streets of Agram were not so secure as at present. 

On an eminence rises the cathedral and spacious 
[)alace of the bishop, enclosed, like so many churches 
of Sclavonic lands, in old walls with round, cone-peaked 
towers — a southern Kremlin. Just below it is tlie mar- 
ket-place, and in its centre the equestrian statue of the 
national hero, the Ban Jellachitj, the poet-warrior who 
in the days of the Magyar revolution led his Croats 
against their national enemy, and saved the Austrian 
police-state when its fortunes were at their lowest ebb. 
He is dressed in the picturesque hussar uniform of his 
country, with flowing mantle and high-plumed cap, riding 
northwards on his pedestal, and pointing his sword for- 
wards towards the scenes of his triumphs over the 

The town is divided into three parts, the lower town 
in which is the market-place and main street, the height 
on which the cathedral stands, and the upper town on 
which rise many large houses inhabited by the resident 
bureaucracy, where is the Diet-hall, the Ban's house and 
the Museum, and looking down from whose airy terraces 
you see the lower town stretched out like a straggling 
village below you, and are reminded of the view of Buda 


from its Acropolis. The cathedral, in spite of its bul- 
wark of fortifications, has suffered much from the Turks, 
who destroyed it, they say, three times ; and inside from 
its own bishops, who have defaced the gothic nave and 
aisles with whitewash and monstrous Jesuitic shrines. Its 
exterior is, however, still partly fretted with old stone 
})anel-work, which recalls the Tudor ornamentation on the 
schools of Oxford. From the top of the square tower 
expands a beautiful panorama — the silvery Save and its 
rich valley — the distant Bosnian mountains fading into 
the blue sky ; and in the other direction the dark forest- 
covered heights of the Slema Vrh, which have given 
Agram her Sclavonic, name Zagreb — ' beyond the rocks.' 
Except the cathedral, and the finely-carved fa9ade of the 
Marcus church, there are no buildings of beauty or 
interest. The Ban's residence was so completely devoid 
of architectural pretensions, and so indistinguishable from 
the houses round, that we should not have noticed it, 
but for a large black flag thrust forth from one of its 
windows in honour of old Kaiser Ferdinand the ' good- 
natured.' As is too generally the case in Hungary, the 
people of Agram are far behind in aesthetic culture ; the 
pictures in the Academy here are few and curiously bad, 
and the one good painting was not by a native, but a 
Czech artist. The Agramers, however, seem to have the 
good taste to appreciate this, and j)hotographic copies are 
to be seen in the shop windows ; rather, perhaps, owing 
to South Sclavonic patriotism, than to respect for high art. 
The picture represents the funeral of a Montenegrine 
Voivode or leader, whose body is being borne along a 
gloomy moinitain gorge from the battle-field ; and the 
grandeur of the lifeless liero, the dark, almost Italian 


look of the weeping clanspeople, are executed with great 
fidehty to Czernagoran nature. 

But living pictures, more artistic than the bronze 
statue of the Ban, more graceful than the weeping Mon- 
tenegrines, are around us here. The market-place is a 
spacious studio. The beauty of the Croatian peasant 
costume is almost unique in Europe — possibly only 
rivalled at Belgrade. Seen from above, when the market- 
place is thronged, it looks almost like a bed of red and 
white geraniums ; it is these prevailing colours which 
give the peasant groups a lightness and brilliancy which I 
have seen nowhere else. What is remarkable is, that this 
brightness should be shared in such equal proportions by 
men and women alike. In Serbia— even in Turkey — the 
men are not so gay. The head-dress of the Serbian 
women is perhaps at times more elegant — the colours 
of their dress are often more varied; but what, after all, 
is a nosegay without a sufficiency of white flowers ? In 
tlie Agram market-place, not only the colours, but the 
very materials, might have been chosen by an artist. 
What, indeed, is the tissue of these diaphanous chemises 
and undulating kerchiefs, but the mull muslin of our lay- 
figures ? The w^omen are. moreover, possessed of such 
a faculty for throwing themselves into picturesque atti- 
tudes that one would think they had a drop of Gipsy blood 
in their veins. In such drapery, with such instincts, such 
taste in colours, what need have they of novel modes ? — 
they who have not yet improved away their form by 
cuirasses of millinery — they who have none of the heavy 
shrouds of colder climes to muffle them — whose simple 
fashions every breath of wind has an art to change ! The 
faces, too, are rarely vulgar ; these are not the coarse 


hoydens of a North-German market-place — on their 
features, in their demeanour, one would fancy that many 
of them have inherited the refinements of an older civili- 
zation ; some soft Italian element, come perhaps by way 
of Venice, descended perhaps from the old Eoman cities 
of these parts. 

The head-dresses of these village ladies are varied, for 
every hamlet has its speciality of costume. On some, 
from St. Ivan, the transparent white kerchief falls about 
the bust and shoulders lightly as a bridal veil ; on others 
it takes a rosier hue, and is known as the Eubac. On 
others, again, as those from Zagoria — ^who will have it 
that they are great grand-daughters of Avars — it is drawn 
backwards over a long silver pin, stuck horizontally 
across the hair, and depends over the back till its varie- 
gated border and long fringe sweep the girdle. Seen 
from the front this coiffure recalls that of the Contadine of 
the Eomagna. In the summer months these peasants 
rarely put on their fur-fringed mantles, which resemble 
those of Serb and Slavonian ; sometimes they wear a 
scarcely perceptible vest, but usually the sole covering of 
arras and torso is simply a light homespun tunic with 
loose flowing sleeves confined towards the wrist and then 
expanding again. In place of a skirt they generally wear 
two wide overlapping aprons, one before and one behind, 
which in a gale of wind may afford occasional studies for 
a Bacchante ! and over the front one of these hangs a 
narrower apron starred with red asterisks, crossed by 
little zigzagging patterns, or by light transversal bands of 
rose and lilac. But enough of such pallid hues ! The 
pride of their toilette is a brilliant crimson scarf, the 
Pojas, wound round the waist, some of the folds of which 

CH. I. 



are at times loosened and hang down over the front 
apron in a graceful sling or outside pouch. Nor does a 
single kirtle content them, magnificent as this is. Amongst 
all tlie Illyrian Sclaves, south as well as north of the 
Save, I have noticed this peculiarity, that they wear the 
two kirtles of classic antiquity. Besides the zone round 

Croat Woman in the A gram Market. 

the waist, a bright scarlet fillet — the Strophion of ancient 
nymphs and goddesses — is wound just below the bosom, 
and is fastened with a bow in front as on the Thaha or 
Euterpe of the Vatican. 

Eound their necks hangs an array of what poUteness 
would have me call coral necklaces. Occasionally they 


wear silver ear-rings, silver pendants on their breast, and 
rings on their fingers; but of gold and silver jewelry they 
possess less than their neighbours beyond the Save ; the 
reason of this being the general absence of specie in the 
country, which prevents them from studding their hair 
and tunic with glittering coins — a habit which in Serbia 
alone withdraws some three-quarters of a million from 
the currency. Many of them, especially the girls, divide 
their hair into two long plaits, the ends of which they tie 
up with brilliant ribbons ; for the twin pigtails of maiden- 
hood are far more characteristically Sclave than German, 
and may be traced among tlie Eussians far away to the 
White Sea — indeed, this may well be one of the tokens 
which betray the Sclavonic origin of so many soi-disant 
Germans. For boots the Croat ladies either wear a 
curious kind of sandal called Opanka^ common to the 
men as well throughout the whole lUyrian triangle, and 
not unlike the ancient Egyptian, made of gay leatlier, 
red and yellow; or, must it be confessed? — they some- 
times buskin themselves in high-heeled Wellingtons ! and 
though their aprons — one cannot conscientiously speak 
of skirts — do not reach much below the knees, these 
martial casings can hardly be looked on as a concession 
to prudery, for after all they generally prefer to go about 
with feet and ankles in the most graceful costume of all 
— that of Eden ! 

To mention such very gorgeous gentlemen after the 
ladies really seems to require some apology. Imagine 
some exotic insect — how else can the subject be aj)- 
proached ? — with forewings of dazzling gauzy white and 
underwings of scarlet. Tlie white tunic expands hke 
wings about the arms, and flutters from them in folds of 


gossamer ; the bright scarlet vest — the Laibek — studded 
like some butterfly with silver stars, is lightly closed over 
the abdomen. These bright metallic knobs are generally 
arranged crozier-wise in front, and on one side of the 
vest is a small pocket just big enough to catch the corner 
of a rosy handkerchief — the same with which the women 
are coifed — which on highdays hangs down and floats 
like a sash about the flanks. A belt of varied leather- 
mosaic, called the Remen, quaintly patterned like the 
Wallack belts, but not so broad, grasps the tunic round 
the waist ; and below this the tunic opens out again in 
flowing petticoats, which often reach below the knees, but 
hardly to the ankles, as those of some Syrmian peasants. 
A similar but narrower strip of leather round the shoulder 
serves to suspend a woollen wallet of the brightest scarlet 
tufted over with tassels ; this supplies the want of pockets, 
and is the inseparable companion of the Croat, insomuch 
that every little boy is provided with a miniature Torba, 
as it is called. Below the timic expand loose trousers of 
the same homespun muslin, flowing as those of the Phry- 
gians of old or the Dacians of Trajan's Column, and some- 
times terminating in a handsome fringe. The feet are 
either shod with Opankas or with Wellingtons, as the 
women's, but are more rarely bare. 

When the weather is chilly, or when they are parti- 
cularly desirous of showing themselves off*, a superb 
mantle — the Surina — is cast over the shoulders, of a light 
yellowish ground-colour, decked with red, green, or 
orange embroidery, sometimes of the most artistic devices. 
Sometimes they are brown relieved with brilliant scarlet ; 
but the real red mantles, ground and all, occur only in the 
western regiments or divisions of the Military Frontier, 

12 ox THE ORIGIN OF ' CRAVATS.' cii. i. 

models of which are to be seen in the interesting collec- 
tion of national costumes in the Agram Museum, so that 
the old German name for the Croats, Eothmantel — ' Eed- 
mantles ' — is hardly applicable to the whole race. There 
is another word to which Croatian costume is said to have 
given birth with still less apparent foundation. You may 
search the market-places in vain for anything approach- 
ing a ' cravat^' which is usually derived from Krabaten 
or Kravaten, a broad-Dutch word for Croats. But the 
high collars of these Croat mantles may well have ori- 
ginated the word, though the signification from the first 
seems rather to have been a bandage round the collar, or 
in place of the collar, than the collar itself. For the f\ut 
that the word really was taken from the Croats we have 
the evidence of Menage, who , lived at the time of their 
first introduction into France. He says : ' On appelle 
cravate ce linge blanc qu'on entortille a lentour du cou, 
dont les deux bouts pendent par devant ; lequel linge tient 
lieu de collet. Et on I'appelle de la sorte a cause que 
nous avions emprunte cette sorte d'ornement des Croates, 
qu'on appelle ordinairement Cravates. Etce fut en 1636 
que nous prismes cette sorte de collet des Cravates par le 
commerce que nous eusmes en ce tans-la en Allemagne 
au sujet de la guerre que nous avions avec I'Empereur.' 
They are first mentioned in England by Skinner, who 
died in 1667, who speaks of them as a fixshion lately 
introduced by travellers and soldiers. In Iludibras they 
are made to serve as halters.^ 

Certainly the most European part of the present 
Croatian costume is the black felt-hat, which oscillates 

* See Brachet, * Dictionnaire Etymologique de la Laiigue Fran9ai8e,' 
and Wcdgewood'j* ' Dictionary of English Etyiuolog-y.' 

CH. I. THE 'celestial' IX EUROPE. 13 

between our broad-brim and what is vulgarly known as a 
' pork-pie ; ' but then the brim is used as a receptacle for 
vasefuls of flowers, and is often surmounted by waving 
plumes, so any such work-a-day resemblances are soon 
forgotten. Then there is another variety of hat made of 
straw, with a conical peak, which recalls a more distant 
parallel. When a Croat wears one of these, and per- 
chance, as he often does,^ having doffed his belt, goes 
about in his long flowing tunic and broad petticoat- 
like breeks, an uncomfortable feeling comes over you 
that you have seen him before ; and when you have 
searched the remotest crannies of Europe in vain for his 
like, it suddenly flashes upon you that it is no other than 
John Chinaman who stands before you ! Yes ; there are 
the very peaks to his boots ; there is the beardless face, 
the long pendulous moustache, and in old days, when — 
as you may see by a picture in the Museum — the Croat 
wore a pigtail, as his Dalmatian brothers do still, a Celes- 
tial meeting him might have mistaken him for his double ! 
The patterns on these various articles of attire are 
striking in character ; they are hieroglyphics, hard to 
decipher, but long household annals are written in them. 
I take it that pure ornament, as opposed to imitation of 
natural forms, has gone through two stages of develop- 
ment, which may be called the 'Angular' and the ' Curved,' 
of which the angular precedes the curved, and stands to 
it in much the same relation as Eoman letters stand to 
current writing. During the Stone Age in Europe this 
angular ornamentation seems universally to have pre- 
vailed. It continued during the earher Bronze Age, but 
towards its close the second phase of ornamentation began 

^ See, for instance, the Croat man in the engraving on p. 4. 


to develope itself in some countries, and we of the Iron 
Age have seen the old angular ornamentation almost sup- 
planted by its offspring. At the present day, one European 
people — the Lapps of the extreme north— may still be 
said to remain almost in the first stage of ornament; 
the hardness of their materials, the bone and wood on 
which they mostly work, their little employment of metals 
and pottery, their seclusion from the current of European 
civilization, have conspired to keep them back. But it is 
more remarkable that a people of a more central European 
area, and a more prolific land, should still linger on in the 
transitionary stage between the old and new styles of 
decoration. Yet, as far as my observation goes, this is the 
case with the Croats, and generally with the Sclavonians 
of the south. They seem to be acquainted with the 
beauty of the new style, but to cling with a pecuUar fond- 
ness to the angular ornamentation of their ruder fore- 
fathers. Thus, in the women's clothes, at least, nearly the 
whole of the embroidery is of this prehistoric kind. The 
high collars of the Croat mantles, which resemble those 
of the Ijapps in form, resemble them also in pattern. 
Many of the Croat women's girdles are almost identical 
in pattern with those I have seen among the Lapps of 
Lake Enare. In the Museum is to be seen a large and 
curious collection of Croatian needlework, all of this an- 
gular pattern — crosses, and lines, and zigzags. Here are 
also to be seen carpets of rude character wrought by the 
homely looms of Slavonia, which are curious illustrations 
of the perfection of the old style — complex as the patterns 
are, they are all square or angled, and might any of them 
be models for a mosaic pavement ; their colours are 
green, red, yellow, and white, less usually purple, and 


dark blue. But what is strange, is to find side by side 
with these rude shapes the secondary form of decoration 
in a highly developed state. The curved style of em- 
broidery, as it appears on some of the men's mantles — 
and it is noteworthy that it is confined almost exclusively 
to the men's attire — is often a real work of art, and the 
elaborate pear-sliaped forms which it frequently takes 
suggest the rich tendriUings of a Cashmere shawl. So 
abrupt is the leap from the ruder kind of ornament gene- 
rally used, that these chefs-d'oeuvre of curvature seem to 
be rather importations from without, than flow^ers of 
home growth. Nor does it seem difiicult to trace their 
origin, for they are very often reproductions of the deco- 
rations which appear on the costly vests and jackets of 
the Turks. They are seedlings from Stamboul — less 
directly, from Byzantium. 

As in ornament so in general character, the Croatian 
dress resembles that of all the Southern Sclaves, includ- 
ing the Eoumans of Transylvania and Wallachia, who, for 
ethnological purposes, may be looked on as a Latinized 
branch of the family. In parts, indeed, it has been Orien- 
talized by the Turks ; and it is noteworthy that just as the 
men's costume in Croatia shows the Oriental influence in 
ornament, so in Serbia, Dalmatia, and the lands beyond 
the Save and Danube, it is the men's costume that makes 
the chief advances towards the Turkish. It is possibly a 
symptom of the almost Oriental seclusion of those who 
have to dread Oriental license. Often, when the hus- 
bands dress in completely Turkish fashion, the wives 
preserve almost unaltered the old national costumes ; and 
it is owing to this, that throughout the whole South 
Sclavonic area, enough of the original dress has survived 


to show the common sisterhood of all. And of all, tlie 
Croat costume seems to be the best representative of tlie 
old Serb — of the Sclavonic costume as it existed in tlie 
days of the great Czar, Stephen Dushan. Almost every- 
where else the men's costume, at least, has suffered 
from Turkish influences. Here, far better than in free 
Serbia, is the description applied to the Serb laity in the 
old laws — the ' dressers in white,' still applicable to the 
Croat men. At Belgrade it would be a meaningless 
epithet ; at Agram it is still true. The Croats, too, with 
their fine mantles and flowing trouser and tunic, approach 
nearer to the primitive type of all — to the soldiers of 
Decebalus— to the sculptures on the Column of Trajan — 
if indeed we are to believe that the old Dacians were of 
Sarmatian stock. 

The same South Sclavonic unity is apparent if we ex- 
amine the pots and pans which these old-world peasants 
are selhng in the market-place. There is hardly a form 
here which I do not remember in Wallachia, in Bulgaria, 
in Serbia. But it may reasonably be asked, whether the 
barbarous Serb races who settled in the Danubian basin 
in the fifth and succeeding centuries could have brought 
with them such an array of highly finished crockery as we 
see before us here ? These narrow lofty necks and luxurious 
handles are surely not an inheritance from fifth-cen- 
tury savages. We do not find such among our Anglo- 
Saxon remains, nor even among the relics of the more 
polished Franks. We must search amongst Eoman sepul- 
tures if we could find such in our own island, and indeed 
this gives the clue to their origin even here. They have 
come to tlie Sclaves of the South from a common source — 
the Eastern Iloman Empire. Like the t^oinage, like the 


rich architecture of the old Serbian Empire, tliey betray 
Byzantine influences. The most conspicuous instance of 
this is the Stutza or Stutchka, as the Croats call it. This 
I have seen myself nationahzed and adopted by Wallacks, 
Bulgarians, Serbs, Bosniacs, and Turks, over an area 
extending from the mouths of the Danube to the Adri- 
atic, and from the mountains of Bosnia to the Carpathians, 
varying slightly at times in hue or form, but essentially 
the same. In parts, even the original Eoman word seems 
to have been preserved. In the Bosnian mountains I 
found them still called Testja — doubtless the Eoman 
Testa} This survival of the Eoman vessel is shared by 
the western part of the empire. The same shaped pot 
turns up in Spain and Portugal. It is common to South 
Italy, and to this day large quantities of these vessels are 
manufactured in Apulia and exported to the coast cities 
of Dalmatia. I have seen Eoman pots of tliis type 
dug up near Bucharest, at Salona in Dalmatia, and at 
Siszek in Croatia, almost identical in shape with those sold 
every day in the market-places of the respective modern 
towns ; and perhaps the best proof I can give of their 
likeness is, that on showing a picture of one from Eoman 
Siscia to a Croatian countryman, he recognized it at once, 
and exclaimed ' Stutza ! Stutza ! ' a name confined here 
to this peculiar kind of vessel. A kind of earthenware 
drinking-cup, which occurs in still ruder forms in Wal- 
lachia, is known here as Scafa, which is almost identical 

^ The Italian Testo, the Spanish Tjesto, and French Tet, came rather 
from the Latin Testum ; while Testa, among the Romance population of 
Gaul, supplied the word for a head, tete. But in East Europe Testa does 
not seem to have developed this secondary meaning, as tlie Wallacks use 
Cap (Caput) for 'head; ' and therefore Tesfa may still have retained its 
sense of * a pot.' 




CH. I. 

with the Greek word for a bowl, cKoicfyrj. To call a scaphe 
a scaphe, was the Greek equivalent for calling a spade a 
spade ; so the Croats at any rate can hardly be accused of 
not doing that. Scaphe is allied to another Greek word, 
Scyphos, signifying a cup, and common to the Latins, 
insomuch that one felt inclined to quote Horace's lines to 
too bibulous Croats : — 

Natis in usum laBtitioe Scyphis 
Pugnare Thracum est. 

The other name by which this cup is known to the 
Croats and Illyrian Sclaves, Scalica, is equally classical, 

Jiaman,jr0m SCscta 

Croa4*a» '^ 

Roman and Croatian Pottery. 

and will recall at once the Latin Calicem and the Greek 
KvXifca. In form it has indeed degenerated from tlie 
goblets of Olympus ! but one need not despair of tracing 
its pedigree from their graceless Eoman corruptions. 
As to the Chalice of our own and the Komance languages, 
though it is more like the classic Calix in shape, it is not 
like these a living popular development, but, with its 

CH. I. 



name, a mere church introduction, a fragment of anti- 
quity mewed up for us in ecclesiastical reliquaries. 

The other vessels to be found in the Croatian crockery- 
markets, if they do not both in shape and name so obvi- 
ously betray Eoman influences, at least in nearly every 
case bear witness to the common character of South 
Sclavonic civilization. There is hardly a shape in the 
Agram market which may not be found again at Bel- 
grade or Bucharest. 

If we pursue this science of the market-place and 

Croatian Pottery. 

1. L6nac (black-ware milk or water jug). 2. P^har (reddish-yellow, for wine, &c.). 3. DlilSec 
(gi-een glazed ware, for water, &c.). 4. T6gel (brown with white bands). 5. Vessel used in 
Slavonia for slow boiling (black ware). 6. Cylindrical jar, Slavonia. 7. Zamaclo (bright 
green glaze). 8. Lid of same. 9, 10. Svi^na, or Cercapac, lamp and candle. 11, Whistle 
in form of a bird. 12. Scafa, or Scalica, drlnking-goblet. 13. Dish, or plate (Zdillica, reddish 
ware with patterns inside). 14. Earthenware sieve. 15. Raindl, or Ilaina, for cooking (red 
ware). 16. Croatian glass. 17. Flasica. 18. Earthenware hand-stove (Rengla). 

examine the rude jewelry which the Agram maidens are 
wearing, or the musical instruments w^hich the country- 
men have stuck into their belts or slung round their 

c 2 


shoulders, we are again struck by this double evidence of 
South Sclavonic soHdarity and the influence of Greco- 
Eoman civilization. There are some ancient Croatian 
brooches in the Museum at Agram on which is to be 
seen the same filagree- work — the pyramids of grains, the 
-spiral tendrillings, which turn up again on other gold 
aud silver ornaments — Frankish, Norse, and Anglo-Saxon 
— -and proclaim the common late-Eoman origin of all. 
Like those of our old English barrows, these brooches 
are bossed with gems set in raised sockets. But here, 
unlike in England, this kind of work seems never to 
have died out; it is perpetuated still in the ear-rings, 
studs, and brooches of the modern Croats. The same 
Byzantine style reappears among Serbs and Eoumans, and 
we shall find it again among the Bosnian mountains. 

But how strangely classic are the musical instruments 
nf the Croats ! What visions of bucolic shepherds, of 
fauns and dancing satyrs ; what memories of idyllic 
strains do they call up ! Can it be merely that we are 
overlooking the same Arcadian kind of life that the 
Greek poet might have surveyed when he strolled forth 
beyond the walls of Syracuse ? Is ' the oaten stop and 
pastoral song' the same, simply because the Croat 
shepherd of the Save-lands is in the same stage of civiliza- 
tion as was the rural Greek ? Or are the pipes and lutes 
before us actually heirlooms from the very shepherds of 
whom Theocritus piped on the thymy pastures of Hybla ? 
— the same with which Thyrsis and Cory don contended on 
the green banks of the Mincius ? It really almost seemed 
so. I asked a countryman the name of his pipe, and to 
my amazement liis reply was Fistjela. The man did not 
understand a worI of Latin, but this seemed a very good 


attempt at Fistula^ the pastoral pipe of the Eomans, the 
very instrument which Thyrsis vowed to hang on the 
sacred pine. The old Pan's pipe/ however, was a series 
of reeds waxed on to a stem in decreasing order, while 
this was a single reed, though more often a wooden pipe. 
It was also known as Fuskola} Then there are the 
double pipes, the Eoman Tibice. A shght development 
has indeed taken place. Instead of being held separate 
in the mouth, their ends are joined by a mouth-piece. 
The V has become a Y, that is all. They are also like 
the double pipes of classic times in being, as the ancients 
have it, ' male and female,' for the number of holes being 
uneven in the two branches — four in one and three in 
the other — one barrel is shriller than the other, and their 
blended notes may still be called, as they were by the 
Greeks, ' married piping.'^ Their name is Svirala, but in 
parts of Serbia Biple, which is evidently Greek ; and 
yet if their origin can be traced back to Hellenic times, 
it can be traced further back still to the double pipes of 
the Theban monument, on which the Egyptian ladies of 
Moses' time are seen playing to their God Ptah. 

Next, the Croats have a rude kind of flute possessed 
of the same Eomance name Fluta, the Wallachian 
Flaute, the Italian Flauto ; and lastly, the favourite in- 
strument of all — the Tambuiica, a simple form of lute 
with a straight neck and oval body, and four strings, 
or rather wires. Its name seems connected with the 

^ ^ Fistula cui semper decrescit aruiidinis ordo, 

Nam calamus cera jungitur usque minor.' — Tibullus II. v. 31. 
^ This, however, may be connected with the Croatian word luk, which 
is used to express the howling of the wind, the whirring of birds' wings and 
other sounds, and can hardly be a derivative from Fistula. 

^]\iou avXrffia. See Chappell, 'History of Music,' vol. i. p. 277, 



cn. I. 

Persian drum or Tambi^r ; though in form, but for its 
extra chord, it is almost an exact reproduction of the 
three-stringed lute, the Nefer, which Thoth, their Mer- 
cury, is said to have given to the Egyptians, which dates 
back at least to the time when the Second Pyramid was 
built, which was handed on by the Egyptians to the 
Phoenicians and Greeks, who knew it as Nafra and Pan- 
doura, under which name they gave it to the Eomans.^ 
Among the Latin peoples of the West, at least, it never 
died out, and though at times changing its form it has 


Outlines of Croatian Musical Instrumeuts. 
1, 2. Pistjela, or whistles. 3, 4, Svirnla. 6, 6, 7. Tamburica. 8, 9, Fluta. 

given the Italians their Pandora, the French their Man- 
dore, the Spaniards their Bandurria and Bandole,^ and 
even to us oiu: Bandohne and— horresco referens ! — the 
Banjo. Sir Gardner Wilkinson's description of th'j 
Egyptian Nefer will almost answer to describe the Croa- 
tian Tamburitza of to-day. It had, he tells us, * a long 

^ Chappell, loc. cit. p. 301. 
* See Diez, EtymologUchea Wbrterhuch der ronianischen Sprachen, 


flat neck and hollow oval body, either wholly of wood 
or covered with parchment, having the upper surface 
perforated with holes to allow the sound to escape. Over 
this body and the whole length of the handle were 
stretched three strings of cat-gut, secured at the upper 
extremity either by the same number of pegs or by 
passing through a hole in the handle.' 

It would be easy to show that the conical-shaped 
baskets, the Corpa^ which the Croat countryman on p. 4 
has in his hand, is as like the Eoman Corhis in form as it 
is in name, and may claim sisterhood with the Cordelia of 
the Campanian peasant of to-day. Some even of the 
windows of Agram have a Eoman air, for 
in several upper-storeys and outhouses? 
to save glass, they are provided with a 
heavy unglazed plate tracery of an an- XI 
gular kind, which is an exact reproduc- 
tion of the Eoman tracery, to be seen? 
for example, in the Amphitheatre of 

Pola in Istria. ** ' 

Outline of Tracery. 

It is hard to say how far these various 
reproductions of antique forms may be due to the earlier 
Eoman or more Byzantine empire ; how far they may be 
waifs from the wrecks of Siscia or Sirmium ; how far 
filtered in from that later Constantinople which gave the 
old Serbs their religion and the model of their empire. 
We know that the traces of the more purely Eoman 
empire, which embraced the old Dacia, Pannonia, and 
Illyricum, have not entirely perished, for its language lives 
still among the Eoumans of the Carpathian and Danu- 
bian plains, among the Tzintzars of Mount Pindus, and 
never died out in the coast cities of Dalmatia. The 


Latin population, though reduced to the condition of 
shepherds, may yet have prevailed to introduce some 
of their arts among their Sclavonic conquerors. To 
this day the Tzintzars of the Macedonian mountains 
assert their technical superiority to the races round 
in the practice of the art of wood-carving. Consider- 
ing the preservation of such Latin words as Testja, or 
Fistjela, or Korpa, we may perhaps be justified in 
assuming that many of the homely arts we see before us 
are rather the direct inheritance from Trajan than from 
Heraclius. Nor must the influence of the Venetians in 
Croatia be forgotten ; for these kept open, in mediasval and 
later times, the old trade-route between the Adriatic and 
the Danube, opened out long before by their prototypes 
the Aquilejans.^ To them probably is due the small 
wooden cask, the Croatian Baril, the Italian Barile ; 
but one evident trace of Venice is to be found in the 
glass-works which exist at Samobor in Croatia, and in the 
heart of the deep oak forests of Slavonia. The name 
Fla^ica, of the glass bottles, may be formed from the 
Italian Fiasco, Flascon, and the forms of the rude beakers 
and the prettily rippled Croatian flasks are true Venetian — 
light, roughly blown, and of Eoman bottle-green. In 
Dalmatia the importation of similar rude glass vessels 
still continues from the small Venetian island of Murano — 
the seat of the famed glass-works of old. But even these 
Venetian forms are, less directly, but another inheritance 
from Eome. 

In modern times we must not forget the activity of 
the new Queen of the Adriatic, 'la bella Trieste,' the 

• Venice strove to make the connection political; from lllo to 1358 
A.D. her Dojres ninintaincd the title of Dukes of Croatia. 


Austrian successor of the great republic, nor the Italian 
seaport of Hungary, Fiume, connected now with the in- 
terior by rail as well as by the magnificent Louisa-way ; 
so that, with the old Venetian influences, we have plenty 
to account for the presence of a considerable Italian in- 
gredient in the population of Agram and Croatia generally. 
For anyone here unacquainted with Croatian, Italian, not 
German, is the best means of communication. The 
Styrian mountains seem to form a shed between the areas 
of German and Italian influences, and besides, the Croats, 
like the Czechs, feel a certain* jealousy of the German 
language which they do not experience of the Italian. 
Many of the high officials here show, by their names or 
features, an Italian descent. The military governor of 
Croatia is a Signor Mollinary ; the director of telegraphs, 
wliose acquaintance we were pleased to make, has an 
Italian, or rather a thoroughly Eoman physiognomy, and 
speaks Tuscan by preference ; the more civilized race 
seejus to climb over the shoulders of the ruder Croats. 

However, it must be remembered that German is still 
the language in use among the officers and bureaucracy 
of the monarchy, and that many of them reside here in 
Agram, so that the result is that nearly everybody in the 
town can speak three languages — Croatian, Italian, and 
German — and many of them speak French as well, which 
is more learnt here than formerly, as jealousy of the Ger- 
mans becomes stronger with rising national aspirations. 
Even the military speak less German than they used to 
do ; and here, as in Slovene Styria, the national tongue 
has now supplanted German as the school speech, and 
even to a certain extent as the official language. Among 
the Likaner and western regiments of the Granitza, as 


one approaches the Adriatic and Dalmatian frontier, 
Itahan is known even by the peasants, and in the other 
parts of Croatia there is an itinerant Italian-speaking 
population, chiefly from Dalmatia, who gain their living 
as builders, and are esteemed better workers than the 
natives. It is natural that the Croats, lying between two 
more civilized nationalities, should be well practised in 
foreign tongues ; but it must be allowed that they have 
a natural aptitude for learning them. They themselves 
are quite conscious of possessing this faculty, and there is 
nothing that a Croat prides himself on more than his gift 
of tongues. 

A Croatian merchant with whom we were talking 
grew quite eloquent on this subject. ' A Croat, sir,' he 
said, 'will learn any language under the sun in three 
months ! — a German takes twice the time. Look at me ! 
Besides my native tongue I know German, I know 
French, I know Serbian, I know Latin, I know Hungarian, 
and I picked up Italian in a month. To know a dozen 
languages is quite an ordinary accomplishment in Agram. 
Why, one of the members elected here to-day for the Diet, 
speaks fourteen. Just look at our philologists. Gaj was 
a Croat; Vuk Karadjid was a Croat ;^ Jagid, the 
greatest pliilologer living, was born at Agram. You 
Enghsh, you have your powers; you make railroads, 
you build bridges ; but the faculty of learning languages 
is God's gift to us r I do not know whose gift exaggera- 
tion may be ; but, making every allowance for our friend's 
patriotism, it must be acknowledged that the Sclavonic 
races have produced a large number of eminent philo- 
logers, and it may even be questioned how far the 

* Vuk Kanidjid wtva not n Croiit, but a Serb. 


German superiority to us in this respect may not be due 
to their Sclavonic blood. In Agram this same faculty is 
shared in a humbler degree by the peasants of the 
market-place, who show quite an Italian aptitude for 
understanding a foreigner, and are remarkably quick in 
taking in the meaning of signs. This faculty does not 
stand alone ; this power of attitudinising, the very dress 
of the peasants, all are symptoms of a common quality. 
It is a certain subtle adaptiveness, common to the whole 
Sclavonic race. 

I had noticed in the market, sitting apart from the 
light Croat country people, a man selling vegetables of a 
different kind to the others, with vestments of a duller 
hue, and on his head a black conical sheepskin cap, 
which recalled to mind the head-gear of the Bulgars of 
the Lower Danube, and sure enough a Bulgar he turned 
out to be. On enquiring I found that a small Bulgarian 
colony had settled near the Archbishop's Park of Maximir, 
to tracking out which I devoted my last afternoon at 
Agram. Passing through the park, I pursued a path 
which seemed to lie in the direction given me, and, after 
meandering awhile among maize fields, found myself 
presently alone in a beautiful oak forest. Through this 
I wandered on, now and then emerging on breathing 
glades which reminded me of the New Forest, enlivened 
too with the same brilliant fritillaries, and once a 
lightning glimpse of the purple emperor of butterflies him- 
self, swooping down from his oaken eyrie. Only one 
thing appeared to be wanting, and that was a path ; but 
I heard in the distance a tinkling of kine, and making 
my way towards the sound, espied some of the mild-eyed 
cows of the country grazing among the gnarled oak 


trunks, and under a tree beyond, a party of peasant 
women and maidens, towards whom I directed my foot- 
steps. But hardly had I opened my lips, than, with a cry 
of alarm, they scampered off, and plunged into the thick 
of the forest like startled deer ! The combined effect of 
an Indian helmet and Norfolk coattee is in these parts 
quite appalling. Only this morning as L was stroll- 
ing along a street of Agram, an old woman, mistaking him, 
as it would appear, for the devil, drew herself up, and 
having crossed herself and muttered sundry spells, felt 
greatly comforted. But the cows, though they took my 
appearance on the sylvan scene very coolly, maintained 
an impassible silence, and meanwhile 

Mi ritroval per una selva oscura, 
Che la diritta via era sniarrita ; 
E quanto a dir qual era e cosa dura, 
Questa selva selvaggia et aspra e forte, 

till happily a distant grunting fell on my ears, and grop- 
ing my way through the trees I lighted this time on two 
swineherds and their charge ; but the boys, though not 
so timid as the womankind, could not help me, and I 
must wander on till I found a woodman in a Croatian 
costume of darker hue — the bright red vest supplanted 
by one of funereal black, as befitting the sombreness of 
the woods — with whose help I found my way out of the 
forest, and finally to the Bulgarian settlement on the skirts 
of Maxirair, which before I had overshot. 

The colony consisted of two very rude straw-thatched 
sheds, which seemed all thatch and no wall, insomuch 
that on ap[)roaching them I at first mistook them for two 
long, irregular haystacks. One of the hovels was for 
dweUing-house and the other as a shelter for vegetable 

CH. I. 



stores, filled with gherkins and onions, and overgrown 
by a vine-leaved pumpkin. The dwelHng-house had a 
kind of porch or atrium ; that is to say, the thatched eaves, 
supported by two poles, projected almost as far in front 
of the door as the one room extended behind it. Under 
this canopy were seated two Bulgars, hard at w^ork tying 
up bundles of onions, clad in their dark national cos- 
tume—the brow^n tight-sleeved jacket embroidered with 
black, the dull red sash, the brown trouser-le^^ijinfj^s which 

Bulgarian Settlement. 

are equally Turkish and Tartar, and on their head the 
black sheepskin cap which had at first attracted my at- 
tention ; while on a peg behind hung one of their heavy 
mantles of the same black, shaggy sheepskin. 

It would be difficult to imagine a greater contrast to 
the Croatian costume than was presented here. The dress 
of the Croats is light and airy, as if they had strayed 
from a land of perpetual sunshine. The Bulgars 


are araioiired against the elements — you would fancy 
they were fresh from some hyperborean land of frost 
and storms — not yet acclimatised to the sunny Soutli. 
The flowing tunics of the Croats invite the slightest 
breeze ; the brilliant red and white hues seem to tell 
of a land where the roses bloom all the year round. 
But the heavy mantles of the Bulgars, the woollen 
coats, the close sleeves and leggings, are made as if 
to exclude the wind and frost ; the cold dark colours 
shadow forth a sky to match. Yet the climate of 
the modern Bulgaria, in its widest sense, does not differ 
in any considerable degree from that of the Croats, ex- 
cept that parts of the Bulgarian area are hotter. Both 
are lands of vines and fig trees. Yet the language is 
almost the same. The modern Bulgar can talk with 
the Croat without an interpreter. Whence, then, this 
startling divergence of attire ? The reason is to be 
sought far away in the dim twihght of history. Origi- 
nally the Bulgars were not a Sclavonic people. Their 
kinship lies with mysterious Huns and Tartars. The 
fatherland whence they wandered forth lies on the shores 
of the Caspian and the mounts of Turkestan or more 
northern Altai. Since their arrival in Europe they have 
been lost, as it were, in a great Sclavonic sea. They have 
been Sclavonized by the multitude of their subjects, just 
as the Mantchu Tartars have within the last two centuries 
been Celestialized by the Chinese they subdued. But it 
is the northern nomads who have formed the backbone 
to this large unwieldy body. It was the Ugrian dynasty 
that erected in the tenth century the Bulgarian Czardom, 
as civilized as any state in contemporary Europe ; that 
humbled Byzantine Caesars in tlie dust with tlicir own wea- 




pons, and planted the standard of the crowned Kon at the 
gates of Constantinople. It was the Ugrian dynasty that took 
the lead in the first great Eouman-Sclavonic revolt against 
Byzantium, that ruled for a while from the ^gean to the 
Danube, and from the shores of the Black Sea to the 
Adriatic. But much as the Mantchus, though lost among 
their subjects, have given the Chinese their bow^s and^ 
pigtails, so the Bulgars have given their tails and dress, 
at least in part, to their Sclavonic subjects ; and these 
shaggy sheepskin mantles, and close-fitting woollens, still 
remain to tell of the chill Central- Asian plateau whence 
their forefathers migrated. 

But the Bulgars before me had other proofs of 
their origin even more unmistakeable than their attire. 
Their pedigree is written on their faces. These are not 
Sclavonic. They are of that type, 
more easily recognised than de- 
scribed, Mongolian in its widest 
sense, which extends from the 
White Sea shores, among Lapps 
and Samoyeds, Beormas and Vo- 
guls, to the Tartars and Chinese. 
Here are the curiously prominent 
cheek-bones, the broad and other- 
wise flat face, the small sunken 
eyes, the nose flat at top and in- 
clined to be globular below ; their eyebrows are strong and 
reheved ; their complexion is dark, their head shaven save 
one black tuft or tail ; these are true Ugrians, the ogres 
of our nursery stories. The purity of their breed, as 
evinced by this strangely Asiatic physiognomy, was partly 
explained by the locality of their home. They had come. 

Bulgarian Profile. 


SO they said, from Ternova, the holy city of the Bul- 
garians, the destination of their pilgrimages, the seat of 
their old metropolitans. This was the last stronghold 
of the national dynasty, and to the last the original 
Ugrian nucleus of the race may have clustered round it — 
nay, who knows ? even these poor peasants may have 
been descendants of Bulgarian Czars ! 

They had come all the way up the Danube and Save 
to scrape together money by their superior agricultural 
industry among the lazier Croats, and having brought 
with them some of their native seeds, were able to expose 
for sale gherkins of peculiar forms, and finer kinds of 
onions, in the Agram market. While I was there two 
more of the party came up ; and one of them, a fine young 
fellow, dressed in European costume, I did not suspect to 
be a Bulgarian till he told me in German that he be- 
longed to the settlement, and had come with them for a 
still more laudable purpose, namely, to obtain a good 
education. They had been here now three years, and, 
having scraped together some earnings, proposed to re- 
turn this autumn. The savingness of the race was no- 
ticeable in their clothing, which was the same they had 
brought with them from Bulgaria ; but I do not think 
that any amount of patching and mending could make it 
hold together much longer. The good humour which 
also distinguishes their race beamed forth from their 
every feature ; they were evidently very pleased to see a 
visitor, were delighted to let me sketch them, and one 
sat quietly while I took his profile. They invited me 
to visit the inside of their hut, whose thatch was partly 
eked out with vine leaves and fir branches. Inside it 
was very dark, the only light coming through the door. 


itself overshadowed, and from a low-burning wood fire 
placed in a semicircular bay of brick whicli formed a 
chimney above. Over the fire was suspended a copper 
caldron, in which their homely supper was then brewing, 
and this was hung up by a hook such as I have seen in 
Wallachia, made of two pieces of wood instead of iron. 
Eound the room ran a low wooden platform or dais, such 
as throughout the barbarous lands of Eastern Europe 
serves as seat by day and bed by night, and on which 
the Turks spread their gorgeous divan. Hung round the 
w^all were several more of the black sheepskin mantles, 
which imparted an additional gloom to this poor earth- 
floor den; and from another peg was suspended the 
national guitar, so that they could sing their own songs 
in a strange land. This is not the same as the Croatian 
Tamburitza ; it is larger, and resembles the Serbian 
Ghuzla, by which name it was known to the Bulgarians. 
Unlike, too, the Croatian instrument, which is twanged by 
the fiDgers, this was played by a bow. This had not 
been brought from Bulgaria, but was made here by one 
of the settlers, who, seeing me examining it, took it 
out into the porch, and seating himself on a low three- 
legged stool, played an air which w^as meant to be lively. 
It was a dance tune, and much like those to which I have 
seen the Eoumans dance one of their stamping Can-cans ; 
it was the ]3ulgarian Igraja, Croatian Igrati, but better 
known by its Serbian equivalent the Kolo, or Sclavonic 
waltz. The plodding Bulgars, however, did not waltz, 
but plied their work harder, w4th a smile of inward enjoy- 
ment on their faces, which I imitated with difficulty, as 
the tune was wofully monotonous, there being only three 
strings to the instrument, all told ; nor can I imagine any 



CH. I. 

one wlio could tolerate such strains long — unless he wear 
a kilt. When the serenade was ended I took leave 
of the party, who most affectionately pressed on me a 
large nosegay of zimnias and rosemary, the ornaments of 
their little garden. 

Aug. 6. — Next day, having heard that there was to 
be a large market at Karlovac,^ about twenty-five miles 
south-west of Agram, towards the Bosnian frontier of 
Croatia, we hurried thither by rail, through ^ne oak forests 
and maize-covered champaign. On arriving we found the 
whole town swarming with country- folk, and the streets 
lined with varied booths. Several new features appeared 
in the costumes, and, above all, the greater propinquity to 
tlie Dalmatian frontier asserted itself in brilliant fezzes, 
such as are worn by the Morlachs and Uskoks of the 
Adriatic coastlands. They are of brighter scarlet than 
the Turkish, covered with rich embroidery or minute tas- 
sels of brilliant silk, like the tufts on some gorgeous 
caterpillar, and culminating in a peak. Some, however, 
wore varieties of the Agramer's ' pork-pie, ' which seemed 
to have been taken from patterns in the 'Nuremberg 
Chronicle,' and are very fashionable still in Sclavonic 
Istria. Some of the men wore blue vests or sleeveless 
jackets in place of the red of Agram ; their belts were 
broader, and often displayed aching voids, in which out- 
side the walls they carry arms; for witliin the towns here 
this is forbidden to all but Turks, who have managed to 
associate the practice with their religion, and are allowed 
to wear pistols and daggers under a conscience clause. 

But the most curious costume belonged to a people 
wliose jet-black hair and physiognomy suggested Zingar 

' Called by G(»nuan.«i nnd Qermanizers, Carlstadt. ♦ 

CH. T. 



relationship. The colours of their dress were as much 
darker than those of the surrounding Croats as their 
tresses than the prevailing tint of hair. The women 
wore over their black tunic and apron-skirt two black 
aprons, one before and one behind, with a long fringe 
attached ; both sexes had satchels of black slung over 
tlieir shoulders, and great black or dark blue mantles. 

Sluin Woman. 

On enquiry we found that they were called Wallacks, 
or in its Croatian form, Vlach. This curious word, used 
by Teutonic races ^ under different forms to characterise 

^ Thus our forefather8 knew tlie Romans as Iloni-Weallas. Wales and 
Welsh still preserve their name for Roman Britain and its inhabitants. 
The Romance population of the Netherlands is known as Walloon. Italy is 
still Welschland to the German. It is, however, quite wrong to suppose, as 
good writers do, that the Wallacks got their name 'from a German popula- 
tion. They certainly were first called Vlach by their Sclavonic borderers. 
Vlach is also said to be Sclavonic for shepherd. 

D 2 


Eoman strangers, is also used among the Southern Sclaves 
to quahfy strangers of Latin blood such as the Wallacks 
of Roumania; besides, as a term of contempt for any 
strangers, and especially strangers in religion. Thus the 
Sclavonic Mahometans of Herzegovina apply it to Chris- 
tians generally, the Croats of the Latin Church apply 
it to the members of the Greek communion, while the 
Serbs of the interior, who are mostly Greek, call their 
brothers of Dalmatia, who are mostly Roman Catholics, 
Morlachs or Mor-vlachs — -that is, sea- Welsh. In the case 
of these peasants in the Karlovac market it simply meant, 
not that they were Roumans or Tzintzars, but that they 
belonged to the Greek Cluirch, and the explanation of 
this is found in their tradition that they migrated hither 
in former times from Serbia. Now, however, they speak 
the Croatian dialect and call themselves Croats. Their 
homes are about Sluin, twenty-five miles south of Kar- 
lovac, on the Bosnian extremity of the Military Frontier. 
Excepting the gypsy-like faces of these Sluin folk, 
the features of the Karlovac Croats agreed with those 
of the Agramers, to such an extent as emboldens me 
to dehneate certain main characteristics. The nose is 
finely cut, but flattens out towards the forehead, between 
which and it runs a deep furrow, which I recollect notic- 
ing among many Roumans. The face is hairless save 
for a moustache on the upper lip, sometimes twirled 
into ferocity ; and scanty whiskers under the cheek-bone, 
as in Serbia, Bosnia, and Dalmatia. The hair is often 
light, in the children sometimes quite auburn ; the eyes 
are of varying shades of grey and blue, lurking, as so fre- 
quently among the*Illyrian Sclaves, in a })an-like socket. 
Hence shadow surrounds tlie eyes below as above, which 

CH. 1. 



gives a peculiar character to South Sclavonic beauty from 
the Bocche di Cattaro to the Lower Danube. So deep at 
times is the surrounding shade that a poet of the race 
might compare his mistress's eyes to turquoises chaHced 
in a setting of ebony ! But the deepset roving eyes of 
the Croat, on which he prides himself so highly, are often 
at first sight repellent, suggesting suspicion and cruelty, 
though redeeming lines of good-humour eddy round. 
Taken as a whole, the face is wanting in the power 

Croat Man. 

and massiveuess of the Teutonic. Contrasted with tlie 
Serbs, the Croats are neither so tall nor so finely pro- 
portioned ; their countenance is less open, beauty rarer. 
The Croats bitterly lamented to us over the idleness of 
their peasants ; their neighbours, Italian and Slavonian,^ 

' Slavonia and Slavonian are used throughout thi^ book to denote the 


CH. I. 

were much better workers. They are incorrigible drunk- 
ards ; indeed we saw enough intoxication at Karlovac 
Fair, and all the wine shops of the town were filled to 
overflowing ; wine, not slivovitz or plum-brandy, being 
here the drink. But with all their faults the Croats are 
kind and good-humoured, and certainly neither at Agram 
nor at Karlovac had we any reason to complain of a 
want of friendliness. The hospitality of a Karlovatzer was 
quite overpowering. We were passing his house during a 
slight shower, when he literally dragged us in and forced 
on us his native wine — on which for politeness' sake, I will 
express no opinion — diluted with flat Sellzer-water from 
Croatian springs, till we begged for mercy. The Croats 
make flat Seltzer-water effervesce with a small wooden 
instrument rejoicing in the name of ' Didlideilshek' 

But to return to the market, which was on a very 
large scale, embracing nearly the whole town and suburbs, 
and a scene of exceeding gaiety. The booths for similar 
wares were ranged together ; here were mighty piles of 
crockery, the stutzas^ the scalicas, and all the varied 
throng ; there a store of glass ware from the Slavonian 
forests, light, hand-made, Venetian. Then the vegetable 
market embarrassed us with a choice of fine figs, peaches, 
pears, water-melons with salmon-coloured slices ready cut, 
rosy and beautifid apples, and delicious yellow plums like 
small Orleans; further on we saw what might be mis- 
taken for row on row of gigantic black-beetles hung up 
like vermin in a wood, but on coming nearer they turned 
out to be black opankas^ of which the peasants were laying 

Austro-IIungarian province and its peofple. The branch of the Aryan 
Family of which these, the Serbs, Croats, ^c, are severally members, I call 
Sclfiv&if Hnd their tongue Scldiomr. 


in great stocks. At other shops you might procure won- 
drous leatlier wallets, or Turkish knives, from the famed 
Bosnian forges of Travnik or Serajevo ; and beyond we 
came to the crowning glory of all — the clothes stalls, and 
the gold-embroidered Dalmatian fezzes glittering in the 
sunshine. But the chief attraction, for the peasants at all 
events, was the cattle-market in the field outside the town, 
Avhere might be seen herds of small Arab horses, long- 
haired Merino-like sheep with spiral procerity of horn, 
soft-eyed strawberry -coloured cows, iniumierable pigs, 
and throngs of brown long-liaired goats, butting each 
other and pushing at each other as if they were playing 
the Rugby game of football ! Over which animals, collec- 
tively and individually, the peasant farmers were shaking 
hands in the most orthodox inanner, as each bargain was 
struck. The goats and sheep were driven in by Bosnian 
Rayahs from the distant mountains of Turkish Croatia, and 
the way in which they expended the profits of their sales 
in buying powder and bullets was anything but reassuring 
to those about to trust themselves to their tender mercies. 
Of Karlovac and its inhabitants proper there is little 
to chronicle except that the inhabitants possess a certain 
gift of inventiveness; for a report spread through the 
town in no time that we had walked from Rotterdam for 
a bet, and the report did all the more credit to the fer- 
tility of the Karlovatzan imagination in that it had no par- 
ticle of foundation whatsoever. The town is divided into 
the citadel and fortified part, containing the churches, 
official houses, and a chilhng square ; and the Varos 
or suburb, which comprises the bulk of the houses. 
There is nothing here of interest ; the churches are bare, 
with the usual bulbous spires; the houses are devoid 


of ornament, and guiltless of architectural pretensions. 
They are mostly wooden ; but here there are none of 
the mediaeval survivals of an old German town — none 
of the elaborate carvings that speak of ancient civihzation 
and the taste of old merchant princes. Such rehcs 
one docs not find in the Sclavonic East of Europe. 
Karlovac is situated well for trade. She lies on the 
Kulpa, which connects her with the Savian and Danubian 
commercial basins, and into which, hard by, debouches 
the Korana, opening out a valley route into the moun- 
tains of North-West Bosnia; while a little above the 
town the river Dobra performs the same service in tlie 
Dalmatian direction. She is situated on the chief pass 
over the Dinaric Alps, just where the watershed be- 
tween the Adriatic and Black Sea is lowest. Karlovac 
is, in fact, the meeting-place of the three high roads which 
bind the interior of Hungary and Croatia with their sea- 
ports — the Carolina-, Josephina-, and Louisa-ways ; and a 
new railway has opened out steam communication with 
Trieste and Fiume. But despite these advantages Karlo- 
vac has no commetoal past, and her commercial present, 
if we except a little timber transport and rosoglio 
distiUing, is confined to the petty huckstering of tliese 
peasant gatherings. Her very origin was military. She 
owes her name and foundation to the Austrian Arch- 
duke Charles, chief lieutenant of the Emperor Eudolf in 
the Croatian military frontier, who began building the 
town in 1577, and finished its walls in 1582. He planted 
here a colony of soldiers, for whom, ' whether German 
or Hungarian or Croat, or of any other nation, ' he gained 
certain privileges and immunities from the Emperor,^ 

' For the charter of Rudolf to K.uiovuc, iu 1681, and its confirmatiou 


the cliief of which was tlie right to hold in perpetuity 
any house built here. It was peopled chietiy by refugees 
from Southern Croatia, then annexed by the Turks, against 
whom in 1579 the still unfinished town was successfully 
defended. For we are now on the borders of the Military 
Frontier, the nine-hundred-mile-long line of battle pre- 
pared by the Hapsburgh Caesars against the Infidel. 

by Ferdinand 111., see Balthasar Kerselich, De JReynis Dabnatice, Croatia, 
JSclavonice, Notitice PrcoUminares, Zagreb, s. a. p. 392, &c. 




The Military Frontier, its Origin and Extinction — Effects of Turkish Con- 
quest on South-Sclavonic Society — Family Coniinunities — Among the 
House-fiithers — Granitza Homesteads— The Stupa — Liberty, Equality, 
Fraternity — Contrast between Croats of Granitza and Slovenes — The 
Advantages and Defects of FaLnil}- Communities — Larger Family Coir- 
munity near Brood — A little Parliament House — Croatian Brigands — 
A Serb Lady — Turkish Effendi and Pilgrim — Siszek — Roman Siscia; 
her Commercial Importance — Her Martyr — Remains of ancient Siscia — 
Destiny of Siszek — Croatian Dances and Simgs — Down the Save — New 
Amsterdam — South-Sclavonic Types — Arrive at Brood — Russian Spies ! 
— A Sunset between two Worlds — Marched Off — Bearding an Otheial 
— A Scaffold Speech — In Durance vile — Liberated ! 

It was the necessities of the Hungarian Kingdom and 
the Empire, when they had to bear the brunt of still 
encroaching Islam, that some three hundred years ago 
created the Military Frontier — the Granitza, as it is known 
to its Slavonic denizens. The Hungarian and Imperial 
statesmen of the sixteenth century had just the same 
immense problem set before them as the Eomans ot' the 
earlier empire — how to defend a long line of frontier 
from the perpetual incursions of barbarians — and they 
solved it much in the same way as the Western Cassars 
of yore. The EoiHan Emperors, under parallel circum- 
stances, parcelled out the march-lands of that awkward 
angle between the Ehine and the Danube among rude 
Allemannic tribes, to be held of the Emperor on condi- 
tiou of military service in their defence. So now the 


Hapsburgli Cassars divided out the provinces bordering 
on the Turks among primitive Sclavonic house-commu- 
nities, each of which held its allotment in common of the 
King of Hungary on condition that it provided, in pro- 
portion to the number of men in the family, one or more 
soldiers for watch and ward against the Infidel. The 
frontier was divided into territorial divisions known by 
the mihtary appellation. Regiments. Every soldier when 
not on active service might change his sword for a spade, 
and sank into a peasant like the rest ; and the officer, or 
' Ohei\' left the camp to preside as judge in the law courts. 
It was a peasant mihtia. To this day the Grenzer uniform 
is but an adaptation of old Croat costume ; the military 
waggons are the simple village carts ; the soldier trans- 
forms himself into a boor, the boor into a soldier, at a 
moment's notice. Thus it was an organisation economical, 
self-supporting — and who would not fight bravely when 
his neighbouring homestead was at stake ? — but mihtary 
over-pride was tempered by the peaceful instincts of hus- 
bimdry. Thus the Turk was successfully fended off, and 
a long watch-service sentinelled along the whole frontier. 
The watch-towers at intervals, with their wooden clappers, 
may be still seen in places, as well as the now unused 
beacons whose telegraphic chain could once rouse to arms 
the whole population from the Adriatic to the eastern- 
most Carpathians in a few hours. 

Thus the Mihtary Frontier was originally the outwork 
of Christendom, the political sea-wall of her provinces 
painfully reclaimed. But the force of that flood had 
long been spent — Islam had ceased to be mihtant. What 
had once been a military became merely a sanitary cor- 
don, or was turned to account to protect the absurd tariffs 


of slow Swabian finance. Nay, it had even ceased in part 
to mark the boundary hne between Frank and Osmauli. 
Free Serbia had risen beyond it. It was superannuated 

a mere survival. The Military Frontier, as it existed 

a few years ago, might be compared to an old Eoman dyke 
that once marked the limits of the chafing North Sea, 
but now runs inland across the flats of Ouse — a moim- 
ment of a vanquished ocean perverted to hedgerows, given 
over to the plough. And, indeed, about three years ago 
it at last struck the Austro-Hungarian Government that 
this unproductive rampart might be resigned to cultiva- 
tion ; for human culture in the Granitza was at a very 
low ebb, and the artificial clogs to social development 
produced industrial depression. Accordingly the mili- 
tary organisation was assimilated to that of the rest of 
the Empire, and by the T/ieilungsgesetze, which facilitates 
the transfer of land and the break-up of families, the old 
communal system has received its death-blow. 

The Military Frontier has ceased to exist, but the old 
order of things has not yet passed away ; and we were 
the more anxious to catch if but a glimpse of that antique 
society, so long artificially preserved from change by the 
military needs of the monarchy, before it dies away from 
the memory of man. For to cross the Militaiy Frontier 
is to survey a phase of society so primitive that it was 
already antiquated when the forefathers of the English 
sate among the heaths and fens and forests of the Elbe- 
lands. It is to go back, not indeed into Feudal times 
— for to call this frontier organisation Feudal shows an 
ignorance of what Feudalism really means — but to wander 
beyond the twilight of history, and take a lantern as it 
were into the night of time. 


If the Turkish invasion can be Ukened to the en- 
croachment of an ocean, it resembled it in nothing more 
than its denuding action. Throughout the whole of 
Eastern Europe there set in a great levelling of baronial 
peak-lands. The South-Sclavonic nobility fell at Kossovo 
or Mohatch and a hundred other fields, or skulked away 
into foreign lands ; and, indeed, this Feudal overgrowth 
was always more or less of an exotic among Serbs and 
Croats. The Turkish conquest was a fiery trial, in truth, 
and yet it had the effect of purging the sterling demo- 
cratic ore of society from all tliis ha3matitic dross. The 
semi-feudal organisation wliich had sprung up in these 
lands — partly owing to the imperfect devices of an aceph- 
alous society to gain the unity of action required in 
war, partly to infiltrations of Western ideas via Hungary 
or the Empire — was now levelled away by the Turks, 
w^here it was not, as in Bosnia, assimilated. Society re- 
verted to that almost patriarchal form which the Sclavonic 
settlers had carried with them into the Illyrian triangle 
when they settled here in the days of Heraclius. Vlastela 
and magnates now make way once more for simple house- 
fiithers, distinctions of rank are merged in the old equality 
and fraternity that reign within the pahng of the house- 
community. We have seen an Imperial ukase work 
much the same result among the Sclaves of Eussia as 
was wrought by the Turkish scimitar for their brethren 
of the south. 

Then, too, not only were the higher ranks of society 
cleared away, but influences were at work to make even 
the communistic village government go back a step in 
archaism. Vast tracts of land were depopulated and were 
parcelled out amongst new settlers, chiefly immigrant 


families from beyond the Turkish frontier. But the single 
farms of those backwoodsmen could not grow into vil- 
lages all at once, and so it would happen that the mark 
— as we may call the allotment — reverted to a very 
primitive stage, being held in common, not so much by 
a village-community, as by a smgle household. Thus 
the Starescina, or alderman of the community, was often 
literally the elective elder of the household. 

But it was evident that if the new military organisa- 
tion was to be self-supporting, each family must contain 
several adult male members — for how else could men be 
spared from the tillage necessary for the support of the 
household ? And how else could contributions in kind 
be afforded to the military chest — the cassa domestica- 
for the keep of soldier house-brothers ? 

Therefore it was that the Government thought well 
to strengthen the Sclavonic family tie, always strong, by 
legal fetters which forcibly bound the household together 
and artificially checked the development of individual 
proprietorship. It was forbidden, as far as possible, to 
alienate the property of a house-community, or to sub- 
divide it among its members ; and so literally w^as this 
enforced that, near Siszek for example, we heard oi 
families still existing containing over three hundrec 
members all living within the same palisaded yard, and 
forming a village of themselves ; nor is it by any means 
rare to find villages in the Granitza consisting of a couple 
of households. 

Aug, 7. — It was to survey this primitive regime tha 
we now sallied forth from Karlovac, and, crossing the 
bridge over the Kulpa, found ourselves, as was manifestec 
still by a cons|)i(nious sign-board, in what was once th< 


Slnin Eegiment of the Military Frontier — a suburban 
street of Karlovac, in fact, belonging to the ex-military 
district. It must, however, be remembered that side by 
side with this mihtary communism exists a civil popu- 
lation : clergy, teachers, artizans, tradesmen, innkeepers, 
and so forth, who enjoy exceptional liberties ; so there 
was not much to notice of special interest in military 
Karh)vac, except a spacious government school for Gra- 
nitza children. A pretty country walk brought us to tlie 
little village of Eadovac, where we lighted on a native, 
an intelligent young fellow, who acted as a guide, and 
interpreter of primitive institutions. 

We looked into several of the cottages, each in its 
3^ard, with due complement of outbuildings, garden and 
orchard for common use. The households here are not 
so large as in other parts of the frontier, and it is evident 
that in former times the inhabitants must have found 
some means of evading the law, and dividing their 
property. The old order of things still exists ; eacli 
cottage has its house-father and house-mother, and every- 
thing is held in common. But the effects of the Thei- 
lungs-jesetze are beginning to be felt, and the right of 
any family to claim an equal division of the property 
among its members is being taken advantage of. We 
were shown one house wdiere the family had just 
quarrelled and split up. In this case the old house-father 
and house-mother still retained their military exemption ; 
but the heads of the new family offshoots were liable to 
service, and were not recognised as house-fathers and 
house-mothers by the eye of the law ; though some of 
them still arrogate the time-honoured titles. In other 
parts of the Frontier the overgrown households are 



CH. II. 

availing themselves of the new permissive law to escape 
from the imprisonment of the common paling. We heard 
of instances of partition near Siszek, and fmther east, near 
Brood in Slavonia. Thus the old communal life is dying 
a natural death. 

A Granitza Honiestojul. 

But let us examine one of these homesteads where the 
house-fathers and house-mothers still preside — and the 
description of the one we saw first will serve for all. In 
order to find our way to the dwelhng-house jp^e had to 
enter by a yard, enclosed by a rough wooden fence,i 
called the ^ploL\ Within this, to the right, was the 
' Kucica' or common cottage, and then followed in order 
the pig-sty, the barn, the hay-loft and cart-shed, the round 
conical-peaked hay-stack, and another store-house. This 
liomestead square reminded one of old English, Norse,^ 
and Franeonian farms ; and we found the dwelling-houses 
trisected into a sleeping-room, a kitchen, and a store- 

* If we understood tlie peasants correctly, it was called Terf^ ; and if so, 
is almost identical in name with Torff, the Swedish for a market-place. Terg^ 
in Croatian mean» generally ♦ wares; ' Tirgovac, a merchant or dealer; Tir- 
goviste, a markot. 


room, like the homesteads of Scandinavian backwoods. 
The centre room of the three is the kitchen, in one corner 
^of which is a flat stone hearth, a small paved square for 
cooking on, such as is universal in Illyria. In the other 
comer there was a stove of a kind which also occurs 
throughout all these lands ; it was of baked clay, square 
below, and bell-shaped above, bayed all over with 
circular pigeon-holes, which in Bosnia, where still ruder 
forms of this stove occur, are actually pots embedded 
into the clay ; though whether this practice arose from a 
scientific desire to gain a greater heating surface, or 
whether for the celebration of certain culinary mysteries, 
or whether for ornament, or, what is more probable, by 
reason of some exigencies of structure — we were never 
able to determine. 

Before the kitchen was a kind of fore-hall, as in a 
Northern cottage ; but, in this warm climate, open to the 
air, and forming a verandah, which in the larger houses 
runs along the upper storey, where the family live. We 
peeped into the dormitory, which was the largest room 
of the three, and saw beds ranged round the room, and a 
picture of a saint suspended from the wall. The house 
itself was of wood, and showed in parts the rich time- 
stains of an Alpine chalet. Yet in places one might 
notice the Sclavonic tendency towards whitewash and 
mud plaster. The roof was double ; first a shingling 
of short wooden planks, and above that a substantial 

As to the inmates, they were engaged in the yard in 
a very curious occupation. Just outside the store-house 
was the most greedy-looking machine we ever set eyes 



on — all teeth and jaw, without even the decency of a 
stomach. It turned out to be a stamping-mill for beating 
flax, which we had already noticed on our way, gomg 
through preliminary processes of water-retting and grass- 
ing. At first sight the masticator looked hke a monstrous 
variety of the trap which children use for ' bat and ball ; ' 
it was all of wood, except a metal pivot or axis, on which 
the upper jaw worked, and its motive power was sup- 
plied by two Croats, a man and a woman, who took 
their stand on the upper jaw, and, placing one foot on 
each side of the pivot, imparted a see-sawing motion to 
it, b}^ throwing their weight simultaneously first on one 

foot and then on the other, from which treading the mill 
gains the Croatian name Stupa or tread-mill. Meanwhile 
another woman took a wisp of the ready retted and dried 
flax, and fed the wooden crocodile with it ; and when it 
had been sufficiently, chewed, and the useless stem or 
boom separated from the useful bark or harl, slie handed 
the wisp on to another woman, who combed out the 
fibres in a heckle, made by the simple process of sticking 
iron nails through a paw of wood fixed into the fence, 
and being now both clawed and chewed, the flax was 
laid in a heap, and the preparation was concluded. The 
mill seems a very primitive form of the Scotch foot-brake, 


but it is at least better than the hand-mill of our fore- 
fathers, for the principle of co-operation of labour is 
invoked, and the flax therefore prepared more expedi- 

One would think that the fact that the rude Croats of 
tlie Granitza have arrived at a stage of manufacture even 
so comparatively advanced as this, may be due to an 
advantageous influence of the Communistic system. For 
if self interest is in the long run the best spur to industry, 
yet it sometimes keeps it back, owing to a want of readi- 
ness to combine with others. But here we find the 
common interest of the house- community in the result^ 
of labour, teaching the great economic lesson of combina- 
tion, though it certainly discourages extraordinary energy 
in individuals. Thus the land is tilled in common, the 
harvest gathered in in common, and, ceteris paribus^ it is 
far more probable that agricultural machinery could be 
introduced in one of the large Granitza families, contain- 
ing some three hundred members, than in a village of 
the same population tenanted by the small, selfish pea- 
sant-farmers of France or Germany. 

Besides this readiness to combine, another favourable 
aspect of this Communistic society was especially striking 
to one fresh from among the somewhat churlish, close- 
fisted Nether-Saxons. This was a certain geniality, an 
open-handed readiness of good cheer, whether of homely 
apples or homelier wine. Nothing here of that jealous 
attitude towards strangers so characteristic of your pea- 
sant-farmer or petty ' Eigenthilmer.' You have only to 
muster up unabashed intrusiveness enough, and you may 
spy out the land and all the ins and outs of a Granitza 

E 2 


dwelling-house without let or hindrance. You may rove 
at your sweet will through yard and garden, take stock 
of horned and feathered, seat yourself on the three-legged 
stool before the culinary hearth — and pray do not let 
false delicacy or closed doors deter you from unclewing 
the inmost mysteries of the bed-chamber ! The inmates 
are only too proud to see a visitor. A comfortable sense 
of co-partnership grows upon you. You find yourself 
arguing some post-liminal right of adoption as you cross 
the threshold, and end by asking yourself whether after 
all there can be any gulf 'twixt meum and tuum when 
every potsherd and goosequill is common property ? 

* Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ! * Let this, then, be the 
motto of the stranger who visits the Granitza homesteads. 
Obviously new rules of social decorum must be invented 
for the occasion, and our code was simple — ' Make your- 
self at home.' The idea that we could be intruding be- 
came really too preposterous ; and as for the truly insular 
notion that a house could be a castle, we laughed it to 
scorn ! We were Communists for the nonce. The Genius 
loci inspired us. We penetrated without the introduction 
of a guide into yards and houses ; or if we came to larger 
farms, where the ground-floor of the house is apportioned 
to cows and the dwelling-rooms of the scansorial part 
of the family are above, only approachable by external 
ladders, we hesitated not to effect entrance by escalade, 
and the inmates were as little taken aback, and received 
us with as hearty a good-day as if they had been expect- 
ing us for weeks. 

We could not help thinking of the contrast they 
presented to the people of the same Sclavonic race, 
and almost the same language, beyond the mountains 


that fringed the north-western horizon; to the Wends, 
namely, and Slovenes, of Carinthia and Carniola. For 
when Goldsmith tells how 

The rude Carinthian boor 
Against the houseless stranger shuts his door, 

he is only stating what we knew by actual experience to 
be still true. It is not so soon forgotten — that chilly 
night, when, for want of a single hospitable roof in a 
whole village to shelter midnight travellers, we were fain 
to stall ourselves in the creepiest of chiu-ch porches — 
and had we not sundr}- other reminiscences of slammed 
doors and long parleyings to boot in the moonlight of 
the Julians ? There was always something morose in the 
temperament of those Slovenes ; something too much in 
harmony with the prevailing black of the Upper-Carin- 
thian costume, with the sad weirdness of their music — 
what a dirge it was that accompanied our way to that 
ghostliest of shelters ! The Granitza folk, on the con- 
trary, are light in heart as in garment ; sociable, hospit- 
able ; finding their poetic portraiture rather among those 
Acadians of whom it is written that 

Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows, 
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their owners. 

Is it that these Croats of the Marches still retain the 
old Sclavonic communism, which the Wends and Slovenes 
have lost ? 

It is most delightful, too, to come upon a place where 

* charity ' in its mischievous, oriental form, is kept from 

' the door. Here every community is of its very essence a 

kind of benefit club ; the common homestead is the 

only asylum for the old, infirmary for the sick ; in times 


of war it was not the least important advantage of the 
Military Frontier, that e£ich house-community formed a 
hospital for disabled soldier house-brothers. The com- 
munal system prevents moreover the rise of an actual 
proletariate ; the flunkeyism of service is absent where all 
are alike fellow-helps and fellow-masters ; and no doubt 
if a brother be disproportionately lazy, moral suasion of 
an unmistakable kind is brought to bear on him by the 
rest of the community. Here we have a kind of industrial 
police organisation. 

Endued with all this brotherly co-operation, these 
social advantages and virtues, Granitza life cannot be said 
to be without its brighter aspects ; but alas that it should 
have shadow as well as sunshine ! After all we must own 
that those earnest staid Slovenes, likened by the German 
to his Mecklenburgers and Nether-Saxons, possess, with 
all their moroseness, a more solid civilization. It was ad- 
mitted to us here — who, indeed, could not see it ? — that 
education was far behind-hand, and the children unkempt 
and neglected ; indeed, the mortality among Granitza in- 
fants is said to be outrageous. Why, indeed, should 
they be better cared for ? Why in the name of Fortune 
should the celibate portion of the community be mulcted 
for the sake of philoprogenitive brothers? Agriculture 
here is at a standstill, and the fields undunged. 

This wretched wind-wry shanty before us, how little 
does it answer to the richness of the soil ! The inmates, 
like those around, are poor in the midst of plenty. Dame 
Nature certainly would fain be bounteous ; you have 
only to look at the luxuriant wild flowers that crowd 
along the garden skirts to see that ; they are at least quite 
as good as the niggard garden patches, themselves half- 


wild, of sunflower, marigold, and zinnia, — just see ! how 
scornfully yon aspiring tufts of saffron meadow-sweet 
climb above the paling, or peep between the rickety bars 
as if to make fun of those cockered garden favourites 
within ! The apples and plums in the orchard to the 
side are, as such, puny and poor of flavour ; but the 
hedgerow which fences it round is loaded with sloes very 
nearly as fat as damsons ; and as to the rose hips, you 
might take them for filberts, scarlet-mantled. Further 
beyond you catch a glimpse of the contours of Mt. Capella 
masted with oak-woods, now mere pannage for swine, 
but fit to timber a hundred fleets. 

The truth is, that the incentives to labour and eco- 
nomy are weakened by the sense of personal interest in 
their results being subdivided. Even the social virtues 
engendered by this living in common are apt to run off 
into mere reckless dissipation. One may think their fruit 
poor, and their wine abominable; but their maxim is 
none the less, 'Eat and drink, for to-morrow we die/ 
True, a man has a legal right to lay by his share of the 
profits ; but who does ? To do so would be to fly in the 
face of public opinion, and this Granitza way of life is 
favourable to the growth and influence of public opinion 
of a kind. At Eadovac there is a well-known yearly 
market, and the peasants, as we heard from an innkeeper's, 
son, drink away their whole earnings on this greatest of 
money-making occasions in the four inns which compose 
the moiety of this httle village. In short, the house-com- 
munities have been weighed in the balance and found 
wanting. One may regret the Military Frontier from an 
antiquarian point of view. Some pleasant features of 
this unique society may be lost ; but on the whole no 


one can quarrel with the government for passing that 
permissive bill which entails its speedy self-immolation. 

There is no need to give special descriptions of the 
other villages that we saw in this part, as Eadovac has 
been made the peg on which to hang wider generalisa- 
tions. The village of Trn may be noticed, as there we 
came upon peasants belonging to the Greek Church, 
called ' Vlachs,' like the Sluin folk, but not like them a 
peculiar people, and indeed differing in nothing from 
their Eoman Catholic neighbours, except that Greek 
icons were hung in their rooms in place of Komish saints. 
But in the villages about Karlovac the house-commu- 
nities are generally small, division has already been at 
work, and I will therefore ask the reader to accompany 
us per saltum to a more easterly part of the Granitza 
which we explored a few days later, namely to the neigh- 
bourhood of Brood in Slavonia. 

Making our way through a country as smiling as that 
which we had left behind, through common-fields of the 
family communities, a-bloom with sky-blue flax, and en- 
closed by old-world hedges overgrown with clustering 
wild vines, or through the common meadowland — the 
old English ing — we came to the village of Bukovje, and 
were introduced to the largest family community of the 
place by the kind Eoman Catholic vicar. 

Some idea of the arrangement of the homestead will 
be given by the accompanying diagram. We made our 
way into the premises by the yard-gate and found our- 
selves in a spacious farmyard fenced in by a stout pali- 
sade. To the left was the common dwelling-house, and 
around the skirts of the enclosure ranged in order the 
common barn, cow-house, stables, maize-garner, goat- 



Homestead of Family Community, near Brood, Slavonia. 


shed, and pig-stye ; the common stillery for making 
slivovitz or plum-brandy, which here has succeeded sour 
wine as the favourite drink of the peasantry ; the common 
well, with its bucket attached to a monster jfishing-rod ; 
the common oven ; and last, not least, the common goose- 
house. In one corner was a small patch of maize, and 
beyond the bottom of the yard was the common orchard 
with its usual crop of poor plums, pears, and apples. 

We were received in the yard by a member of the 
family, voted unanimously to be the house-father, who 
cordially invited us in, and having satisfied oiu- curiosity 
as to the various outbuildings, bade us enter the common 
dwelling-houses, of which there were two ; one a long 
wooden erection with the usual verandah, used as a 
summer abode, and divided into compartments for each 
sub-^'AvciWy ; the other, a palatial residence compared with 
the Eadovac hovels, brick-built and whitewashed, and 
with its porch and double tiers of massive arches which 
open on long corridors as in some old monasteries (for 
there is something conventual too about these closes), 
and entered withal by an imposing flight of steps, was not 
without its dignity. The family consisted of some three 
dozen individuals, mostly absent at the time on field- 
work, insomuch that the garrison consisted of our house- 
father and two house-sisters all told. Thus it was scarcely 
more than a tenth as big as those monster families we 
heard of near Siszek with their three hundred members ; 
but it afforded a good example of the house arrangements, 
nevertheless ; for in these larger family communities, such 
as we saw higher up the Save, you may see several 
dwelling-houses ranged in a row within the common 
^plot^ so that really only a little multiplication is needed 

CH. II. 



to gain an idea of the family community on its grandest 
scale from a view of this Bukovje homestead. There is, 
however, this difference, that in the larger families the 
common hall and kitchen are often separate buildings. 

The house consisted of two floors. Ascending the 
porch-steps at the house-father's bidding, we found our- 
selves in a ground-floor with the fore-hall and usual tri- 
partite division of the ruder Granitza cottages, consisting 
of a common hall or refectory, a kitchen and another 
room, used in this case, I beheve, as a bedroom for the 
house-father. These three rooms opened on to the front 

:: a 








PZan a£ 
TTjfpeT Storey 

Plan of Ccmmon Dwelling. 

corridor ; and ascending some stairs, at the end of this 
airy arcade we found ourselves on the second storey, di- 
vided exclusively into bedrooms, of which there were 
thirteen, one for each sub-family. Above this again was 
a loft running under the whole length of the roof, and set 
apart for stores. 

In the middle of the kitchen, whose besooted rafters 
were supported by a massive beam as swarthy as them- 
selves, was the large common hearth, the wonted square 
of flat stones, the logs on which were kept in place by 
two quaint fire-dogs ; while by their embers a large green 
jar of earthenware was simmering with a savoury mess of 


chopped bean-pods, eyed from time to time lovingly by 
the house-sister, she who had welcomed us on entering 
with a bountiful apronful of apples. By the side walls 
were three other lesser hearths, communicating with the 
honeycombed stoves in the other rooms, so that one fire 
fed both a hearth and a stove. On these hearths reposed 
cylindrical pots with curious lids, and above the fire great 
iron caldrons, capable of providing for many mouths, were 
hung from the wooden arms of primitive jacks, such as I 
remember having seen in Finnish cottages. 

The common hall contained little but a long table 
and two long benches, recalling, except for its honey- | 
combed stove, the furnitm-e of an Oxford College hall. 
It is here that the whole family take their meals ; and in 
the winter time, when the stoveless summer dwellings are 
uninhabitable, it is here that the men take shelter from 
the blast to make or mend their rude implements of hus- 
bandry, and the women ply their homely looms. They 
told us furtiier that this was the room in which the family 
met to choose their house-father or house-mother, and to 
transact all common business ; and, since dinner is the 
natural time for all the family to be assembled together, 
it is after dinner that these matters of household economy 
are mooted, and the house-father, who represents the 
family in dealings with the authorities, and the house- 
mother, who shares with her consort^ his patriarchal sway 
over the rest of the house-community, are elected. It is 
liere, too, that the domestic government is thrown out if 
it does not continue to give satisfaction to its constituents. 

* The house-father and house-mothor are not necessarily man and wife; 
nor, though generally chosen with respect to age, ai*e they always the oldest 
members of the community. 


In short, this is their little Parliament-House, and these 
the earliest germs of Constitutional Government. 

But we must leave Slavonia for the present, and trans- 
port ourselves back in some aerial fashion to Karlovac, 
from which town we are about to make our way to 
Siszek by the last strip of railway we were to see for 
many a long day. It may be that it was lucky that such 
a means of transit was stiU at our disposal, since, if we 
had been obhged to foot it, we must have run the 
gauntlet of a band of robbers then infesting the country 
near Petrinia. As a rule our Croatian friends were 
never tired of assuring us that it was beyond the frontier 
that these gentry flourished ; and the hilly country that 
rose to the south-west — the Kraina, as the promontory of 
Turkish territory is known, which acts as a thorn in the 
side of Austria — was pointed out as a regular asylum for 
wild characters, and in fact was long the only part of 
the frontier where the watch-service was still needed. At 
the present moment, however, even the Croats were fain 
to admit that Bosnia was free from robbers, while their 
own country was insecure ; and, indeed, I am afraid that 
this was not such an exceptional state of things as they 
would have had us believe, for when we arrived two days 
later in the Slavonian lands of the lower Save we 
found the whole country under martial law, owing to 
the murderous infestations of brigands in the Syrmian 
highlands ; and though several had been hanged, the 
reign of terror was such that the military government was 
still continued. Indeed, just after the Aiistro-Prussian 
war, the state of Croatia had become so deplorable by 
reason of the increasing brigandage, that ' Standrecht ' had 
to be proclaimed there, and no less than forty robbers 


CH. II. 

(Were hung. For some time a gibbet with its ghastly ap- 
pendages was to be seen from the train on nearing 

On the whole, then, it was more comfortable to in- 
dulge in such reflections as we shot through the mighty 
oak-forest in a railway-carriage bound for Siszek, than to 
sneak through these mysterious shadows on foot with the 
feelings of one of our great-grandfathers, when doomed 
to traverse Hampstead Heath on a dark night. These 
Croatian highwaymen, however, immediately under notice, 
had hitherto conducted the business of the road on the 
most gentlemanly principles ; and though a kind of ' com- 
mercial ' with whom w^ travelled seemed a bit scared, 
even he could report no thrilling tales of bloodshed. 
There were sixteen of these Hajduks,^ as the Croats called 
them, who had taken to outlawry to avoid the military 
conscription, which has just superseded the older organi- 
sation of the Granitza. Soldiers have been in pursuit, but 
fruitlessly, since not only are the hills about covered with 
unfathomable forest and hollowed — so we were told — . 
with caverns, but the peasants, like those of Greece and 
Southern Italy, are in league with the brigands, supplying 
them with food, and refusing to reveal their hiding-places. 
The gendarmes, indeed, express hopes of seizing their 
quarry when the leaves have fallen and the snow is on 
the ground. Meantime they are at large. Nor let us 
judge too harshly of their profession, for in this old world 

^ The usual word for brigand, &c., in Eastern Europe. The word is 
said to be Magyar originally, and to signify * the unmarried.' It was origi- 
nally applied to youthful Free-lances— * Knights Bachelors ' — and has been 
compared with the derivation of Cossack, which has the same meaning. In 
Hungary the population of certain towns are known as Ilajduks, and the 
towns are called Hajduk towns. 


East of Europe the Hajdiik is often a gentleman in his 
way. 'Tis Eobin Hood and his meri-y men who still live 
on, roughly redressing their wrongs in a vicarious fashion 
against that society which refuses them legal requital, but 
capable none the less of much tenderness to women and 
children, and discriminating their friends from the class 
that oppresses them. Across the Turkish frontier the 
cause of national freedom, hopelessly lost centuries ago on 
the battlefield, has been championed from generation to 
generation by the Hajduks of the forest mountain, in 
achievements not unsung by Sclavonic bards ; and, likely 
enough, these Croatian brothers are striving too for an- 
cient liberties, as they understand them. 

It was late at night by the time we arrived at Siszek, 
so we were glad enough to avail ourselves of a car 
bound for the ' White Ship ' inn on the Kulpa Quay, in 
company with a Serbian lady and her child — she disdain- 
ing not either for herself or boy the national costume 
of Free Serbia. And verily she had her reward. For 
what could be more appropriate than the rich silver em- 
broidery flowered on the purple- velvet field of her mantle 
— efflorescent with the poetic yearning of the race for that 
gorgeous Orient, a yearning as lively as the abhorrence 
from its yoke — an echo from the Serbian lyre — a protest 
against your cold foggy West — but subdued withal by a 
Eoman-matronly coifTure wondrously becoming to the 
tranquil grace of Serbian motherhood ? 

Arrived at our inn, we found ourselves plunged at 
once into Turkish society, for many Bosnian corn-mer- 
chants from Bihac, Serajevo, and other towns, betake 
themselves in the way of trade to Siszek. Among the 
group of Tiu-ks who, in various awkward and frog- 


like postures, were endeavouring to accommodate them- 
selves to chairs, was an EfFendi, a title which implies not 
only a certain grade of Turkish gentility, but an educa- 
tion for Bosnia most pohte, namely, the ability to read 
and write ; and, what is by no means ordinary among 
the Mussulman Sclaves of Bosnia, an acquaintance with 
Osmanli. Thus it was with a conscious sense of supe- 
riority that our Effendi, learning our intentions in Bosnia, 
expressed a desire to see the pass which the Vali Pasha 
had been good enough to supply us with. He seemed 
"extremely surprised to see that it was in the Vali's own 
handwriting; but having convinced himself of the fact, 
he first read it aloud with pleasing gusto in the original 
Turkish, and then translated it into Bosniac for the 
benefit of the Sclavonic Mahometans and our Croatian 
landlord, with many assurances that with such an ' open 
sesame ' we should have no difficulty in unlocking the 
innermost fastnesses of Bosnia or even the Herzegovina, 
where the revolt had now broken out. 

There was also a venerable Turk of singularly digni- 
fied mien, with patriarchal beard and capacious turban, 
who sat in mild contemplation, lulled by the measured 
purring of his narghile, lost to all mundane concerns, 
sagely superior to the curiosity which our pass and tra- 
velling gear were exciting in less exalted bosoms, and 
benignantly indifferent even to the indignity of a chair. 
Our host told us that he was a Hadji, or pilgrim, then on 
his way from Buda, where he resided as a merchant, to 

Aug. 8. — Next morning we sallied forth to explore 
what might remain of ancient Siscia. For we are now on 
classic ground. Siszek is but the corruption of a name 


great in all ages of imperial Eome, and greatest in the 
twilight of her empire. There was a time when Siscia 
was one of the sovereign cities of the world. She was 
a bulwark against barbarians, an emporium of commerce, 
a seat of emperors, a mother of martyrs, a gathering point 
for Eoman-Christian Saga. And her older name, Seges- 
tica, takes us back to times prior to the Eoman conquest 
itself, when she formed part of that Celtic empire of race, 
dim, commercial, reaching from Gades to the swamps of 
Nether Ehine ; from glacial lern^ to the mouths of Ister. 
Segestica ! we have no record of her dealings with the 
Adriatic votaries of Belenus,^ nor what Taurisk gold passed 
current in her streets ; and yet her peasant citizens of to- 
day plough up an abundance of bronze-age sickles as if 
to bear witness of her old Celtic industry and her very 
name calls up golden harvests of antiquity ready garnered 
into her warehouses from rich Pannonian plains, with a 
side suggestion perchance of her 

Seges clypeata virorum, 

that twice withstood the arms of Eome successfully, till 
Augustus reduced her, and made of her a stationary 
camp for his cohorts. 

She is now Siscia, a convenient point d'appui for 
Dacian campaigns ; the winter quarters for Tiberius in his 
Pannonian war ; by Septimius Severus made the seat of 
military government for his world, and so benefited by 
him that she tock the name of Septimia Siscia. Probably 
under Vespasian,^ a Eoman colony had been already 
planted here, and Siscia became a Eepubhc with muni- 

* Belenu8, the Celtic Apollo, and tutelary god of Aquileja. 
2 From whom the earlier title of the city Flavia Siscia may have been 



cipal liberties modelled on those of the parent city. An 
inscription still recalls her Duumviri, who, in Eome's 
provincial mirrors, reflected the two Consuls. Later on, 
Siscia becomes the chief city of Upper Pannonia; then, 
when Savia was made a province, the residence of its 
Corrector. She was the seat of an imperial treasury, and 
it was here that the ' most splendid Provost of the Iron- 
workers ' received the revenue from Noric mines. Here, 
too, was estabhshed the Premier Mint of the Eoman 
Empire ; and Siscia shares with Eome herself the dis- 
tinguished honour of first imprinting her name in full 
on the imperial currency. What numismatist does not 
know and covet that coin of Gallienus ? or that choice 
piece of the Emperor who sprang from her Savian rival 
Sirmium (though from this legend one would think 
he was really of Siscia), with the proud inscription, ' Siscia 
Probi Aug.' — the Siscia of Probus ? On it is to be seen 
the personification of the queenly city, holding in her 
hands the laurel- wreath of empire, while at her feet her two 
subject rivers pour bounteously from their tributary urns. 
But this medallic fertility, which has scattered the 
coins of Siscia over the fields of remotest Britain, was 
only the natural result of her commercial eminence. She 
was the" staple of trade between the Adriatic and the 
Danubian basin — old Celtic trade-routes probably sur- 
viving the Eoman conquest. 'Siscia,' says Strabo, 'lies 
at the confluence of many rivers, all navigable. It is at 
the foot of the Alps, whose streams bear to it much mer- 
chandise, Italian and other. These are borne in waggons 
from Aquileja over Ocra, the lowest part of the Alps, to 
Nauportus, and thence by the Corcoras into the Save,' — 
and so to Siscia. The wine and oil wafted from more 
sc.uthern climes into the havens of that Venice of Eoman 


Adria; the carpets and woollens of Patavium that 
rumbled into her markets by the ^milian Way ; the furs 
and amber that the barbarian dealers bore her from the 
cold shores of the Baltic, and Fennic forests ; perhaps, too, 
her own costly wine stored up in wooden barrels — all 
these, we may believe, and more, were piled on the 
Aquilejan waggons and dragged up the Alpine steep by 
oxen, thence to be floated down the Save to the Siscian 
wharves. In the markets of Siscia the Aquilejese mer- 
chants might lay in their stock of grain, or hides, or keen 
Noric steel, and take their pick of cattle, or tattooed 
Illyrian slaves. From the whole of Eastern Europe wares 
might flow together here ; for not only was Siscia at the 
confluence of the Save and Kulpa, but she was at the 
junction of great roads, which, with their branches, con- 
nected her with the Upper and Lower Danube, with the 
interior of Dalmatia as well as her coast-land, and with 
Nauportus and Italy, overland. 

Not long ago an interesting relic was found in Croatia, 
which perhaps speaks more clearly than anything else of 
the majesty to which Siscia ultimately attained. It is a 
cedarn chest, once gilt, on which are carved, by a late 
Koman hand, what are meant to be personifications of the 
five premier cities of the Eoman world. In the centre — 

Prima urbes inter, Divom domus, Aurea Roma, ^ 

Eome, with her usual attributes of helmet, spear, and 
shield, is enthroned as a goddess. To her right two more 
female figures, distinguished by scrolls as Constantinople 

* Ausonius, De Claru Urhihus. The order of eminence given by the 
rhetorician to the great cities of the empire is evidently perverted by pe- 
dantry and provincial favouritism. Neither Siscia, Sirmium, nor Nicomedia 
is mentioned. Illyria has, at least, as much right to be heard on this ques- 
tion of precedency as Aquitaine ! 



and Carthage, hold wreaths in their hands and look 
towards Eome. On her left, two other goddess-cities do 
the same ; one is Nicomedia, the other Siscia. The 
carving is probably fourth-century work ; and certainly, 
exalted as is the position claimed on it for Sisoia, it is 
almost borne out by her coinage of the same period, for 
the activity of her mint shows that her commercial splen- 
dour was still at its zenith down to at least the days 
of Theodosius the Great ; while the coins of her rival 
Sirmium wax fewer and fewer, and finally cease alto- 
gether. For Sirmium may have been of greater value 
as a military station,^ and perhaps a pleasanter residence 
for emperors and bishops, and therefore of greater admi- 
nistrative importance, and of more frequent mention by 
historians ; but that she was a greater city than Siscia — 
as is so confidently assumed by some writers — may rea- 
sonably be doubted, and the very bustle of Siscian markets 
may have deterred princes from fixing here their court. 

The comparatively high state of Siscian civilisation is 
also attested by her coins — those superb medallions of 
gold and silver — those gems of the fourth-century mone- 
tary art that stand out among the poorer products of 
mints Gallic and Britannic. But what distinguishes the 
Siscian coins as much as their workmanship is their 
pecuharly Christian character. It is here that the first 
purely Christian type — that, namely, which alludes to 
the vision of Constantine, first makes its appearance — 
indeed, during the fourth century the sacred monogram 
may almost be regarded as a Siscian mint-mark. And we 

* Very few ttttdi militares have been discovered at Sisc'a. The cam pi 
originally established here and at Pretovio were soon moved en to'AquiiJCum 
and lirigetio. See Monimsen, Coi-pm Inacriptionum, vol. iii. pt. 1, where 
he iusibUi on the civil character ol Siscia. 


know from other sources that Christianity had early 
struck root here ; for not only is its existence attested 
by two sepulchral inscriptions of Eoman date discovered 
here, but its vitality is celebrated by a relation of Jerome 
and a hymn of Prudentius, recording the martyrdom of 
a Siscian citizen and bishop, Quirinus : — 

Insignem meriti virum 
Quirinum placitum Deo, 
Urbis moenia SiscisB 
CoEcessum sibi martyrein 
Complexu patrio fovent. 

It was during the persecution of Diocletian and ' Duke ' 
Galerius, as Prudentius styles him, that Quirinus, bishop 
of Siscia, refused to burn incense on the heathen altar 
at the bidding of the Governor Maximus, on the plea 
— countenanced, indeed, by inspired writers, but which a 
little philology would have spared him — 'that all the 
gods of the Gentiles were demons.' ' If you will allow,' 
said Maximus, ' that the gods which the Eoman Empire 
serves are pow^erful, you shall be made priest to the 
great god Jove, otherwise you shall be sent to Amantius, 
praafect of First Pannonia, and receive from him condign 
sentence of death.' The stout-hearted bishop, refusing 
these terms, is sent to Sabaria, where he is tried and 
condemned in the theatre, and with a millstone round 
his neck is thrown from the bridge above into the river ; 
when, lo ! despite the weight of rock, the water mira- 
culously supports him : — 

Dejectum placidissimo 
Aumia vertice suseipit ; 
Nee mergi patitur sibi, 
Miris vasta natatibus 
Saxi pondera sustinens, 

Prudentius, Peristephanon vii. 


till, having exhorted the faithful and confounded the 
heathen from his watery pulpit, his spirit ascends and the 
laws of gravity resume their sway. 

In the dark period which followed the barbarian 
invasions, something of her old secular glory was still 
reflected in the Siscian Church. After the destruction 
of Sirmium by the Huns in 441, Siscia transferred her 
ecclesiastical allegiance to Salona. Her decline was more 
lingering than that of her rival, for her prosperity had 
rested on a more solid foundation. Her bishops survive 
the settlement of the Sclaves hereabouts in the time of 
Heraclius. In the ninth century we find her the residence 
of a Sclavonic prince ; but she suffered from the Frankish 
invasion, and in the tenth century was finally razed by 
the Magyars. Now at last the Siscian episcopate dies out, 
to live again with renewed splendour at Agram. 

The old walls of Siscia are traced in a pear-shaped 
form on the left bank of the Kulpa between it and the 
Save. But just outside our inn, on the right bank of the 
river, we came upon several fragments of old Siscia, some 
sculptures and inscriptions walled into the foundations of 
modern houses. In the tympanum of a door are three 
sculptures, one of which may be meant for Apollo, though 
only the head and half the body survive, and another for 
Andromeda ; these two of base art ; but the third, a griffin, 
of somewhat better work. Here and there were stumps 
of columns, and Eoman tiles might be seen still in use. 
On the hill above, still on the right side of the Kulpa, 
the wooden cottages almost always rested on foundations 
composed of Eoman blocks, amongst which many inscrip- 
tions may lie hid, though we discovered none that had not 
already been conscientiously described by Agram antiqua- 


lies. It was strange, however, to observe how the irony of 
fate had converted to modern utility the pomp of ancient 
funerals and the furniture of the ' immortal gods ' ! A 
Eoman altar, with its face and what inscription there 
may have been (for we could not get it raised), buried in 
the dust, had been turned into a seat for Croat wives ; a 
Eoman sarcophagus in one of the cottage yards had been 
converted into a horse-trough, and another had been 
emended so as to form a serviceable sofa. 

On the summit of the heights which here overlook 
the river is the site of a Eoman cemetery, and the owner 
of the vineyards where most of the remains had been 
discovered kindly showed us over his domain. Many 
fine sarcophagi — the best of which are to be seen in the 
Agram museum — had been dug up here, containing tlie 
usual amount of coins, lamps, urns, and ashes, amongst 
which the skull-bones were most distinguishable. In one 
place we were shown a Eoman conduit, square in shape, 
and the outside glazed as if by a conflagration. Near 
the old cemetery might be seen Eoman walls, and some 
cottage foundations consisting entirely of Eoman tiles. 

The most interesting Eoman fragments were, however, 
on the left side of the Kulpa, where the town walls are 
traceable, in a garden by the railway-station. There 
we found an altar with an inscription^ showing that it 
was dedicated to Ceres, with a vase and patera engraved 
on one side, and on the other a jar full of spikes of 
corn. Close by lay mutilations of what once had been 

^ The inscription was 

GERERiJlAVG sac||q. ivlivs1|m:oderatvs|i«. procIIvslm. 

It is given in the Corijus Inscriptionum, vol. iii. pt. L No. 3944. The vase, 
however, beside the patera^ is not mentioned there. 


72 mroRTANT position of SISZEK. ch. n. 

Corintliian capitals, with rich acanthus-leaves decayed by 
many winters ; fragments of a marble frieze with wavy 
vine-sprays loaded with bunches of grapes fit for the Land 
of Promise; besides, other marble bits on which were 
sculptured beakers and telescopic flowers unknown to 
botanists, and spiral knot-work which seemed almost 
Byzantine. It was pleasant to beheve that they all 
fonued part of a temple of the corn-goddess, though I 
doubt whether all the fragments could be attributed 
either to the same building or the same age ; and perhaps 
Father Liber or Isis, whose altars have also been discovered 
here, may lay as good claim to some of these vinous and 
floral devices as Mother Ceres. 

But whatever view be taken, these remains are inter- 
esting as an illustration of the old position of Siscia as 
centre of a corn and vine-growing district ; nor indeed are 
they inappropriate even to her present state. The present 
town of Siszek derives what trade she possesses mainly 
from the transport of cereals. Hither the maize and 
wheat from the rich alluvial plains of the Banat and the 
Possavina, as well as from the interior of Bosnia, are con- 
veyed by the Save and its tributaries ; for Siszek is the 
point where the land-carriage to the north and west com- 
mences, and she really stands to Trieste and Fiume, with 
respect to the tralfic between the Danubian basin and the 
Adriatic, in much the same relation as her Eoman ances- 
tress stood to Aquileja. Sizsek has two really busy sea- 
sons in the year — in the spring when the maize crop 
is gathered, and again the corn harvest in August and 
September ; and at these times her population, normally 
reckoned at 3,800, rises to twice, or even, it is said, to 
three times that number. The town, however, like many 


other sites of Eoman cities, is not so healthy as it was in 
former times, and a curious plague of emerods is epidemic 
here. This decrease of salubrity is attributed by the 
Siszekers themselves to the great destruction of forests 
that has taken place in the neighbourhood ; with what 
reasons, let doctors decide. 

However, modern science and drainage may probably 
be trusted to remedy the present unhealthy state of the 
Siscian atmosphere ; and it requires no extraordinary gift 
of prophecy to be able to foresee for Siszek a glorious 
future, and to predict that, before many years are passed, 
she will have done much to regain the splendour of 
Eoman Siscia, whose functions, as we have seen, she still 
to a certain extent performs. For she has been dowered 
with a situation destined by nature for a great emporium 
of commerce, nor are signs wanting that the fulfilment of 
her destiny is at hand. Already Siszek is fixed as the 
point at which the railway that is to connect Western 
Europe directly with Stamboul, and eventually perhaps 
the furthest Orient, is to meet the lines leading to Vienna 
and Trieste, and another line is projected, connecting 
Siszek directly with the Adriatic. 

Siszek used to be divided by the Kulpa into the civil 
and military towns, the latter under ' regimental ' govern- 
ment ; but since the new legislation the whole has been 
placed under the municipal authorities. In neither half 
is there anything worth seeing except the Eoman remains. 

On the bank of the Kulpa, however, just at the con- 
fluence with the Save, about a mile from Siszek, rises the 
old castle of Caprag, built in a triangular form, with a 
round conical-roofed tower at each corner. This castle 
brings home to us the old days when the Empire was 


engaged in a life and death struggle with the Turk. It was 
built in the sixteenth century, with the Emperor Ferdi- 
nand's permission, by the bishop and canons of Agram, 
and in 1592-3 it was gallantly defended against the 
Pasha of Bosnia by tw^o canons of the cathedral chapter ; 
till, after withstanding two sieges successfully, it yielded to 
a third attempt, and for a year belonged to the Infidel.^ 

As we were exploring the former military quarter of 
Siszek, whose habitations, tenanted by the ordinary pea- 
sants of the Granitza, are for the most part mere huts, as 
compared with the more stylish houses of the civil town, 
our ears were saluted by sounds of unearthly revelry 
proceeding from a neighbouring wine-shop. Entering it, 
we found ourselves in the midst of a Croat merrymaking : 
an orchestra of four men strumming on tamburas and 
tamburitzas as for dear life, and accompanied by such a 
whisking, and whirling, and stamping as never was ! The 
dance they were engaged in when we went in was 
known to them as the Kardatz, to the Germans as 
* Kroatisch ' — though the Croats say that it was taught 
them by the Magyars. Properly it was danced by the 
women alone, but there were often enough male inter- 
lopers. It is so pretty that it deserves to be known 
beyond the limits of Croatia ; so I will give the general ar- 
rangement of the dance, as far as I could catch it. 

Six Croat maidens — any number divisible by six and 
two would do as well — sorted themselves into two groups 
of three, which for awhile seemed to ignore each other's 
existence, the sisters of each triad alternately dancing to 

* Balthasar Kerselich, De Begnis Dahnatice, Croatice, Sclavonic Notitia 
ftraliminares) and see Danubinn Principalities, by a British Remlent of 
TWiiuty Years in the East, vol. i. p. 88. 


one another, and then joining hands, like three Graces as 
they were, and circling round ; till of a sudden the rival 
orbits seemed to feel each other's influence, a quick 
rapprochement took place, and all six, interlacing their 
arms, tripped round in a fairy ring, faces outwards, till a 
starry disruption once more surprised us, and in a twinkling 
the revolving orb was split up into a new triad of twin 
constellations spinning round on their separate axes, till it 
made one giddy to look at them — ribbons, kerchiefs, 
and cometic plaits — and, sooth to say, the nebulous enve- 
lopes of the statuesque ! — flying ofi' centrifugally. 

The dance was in parts surprisingly graceful ; and the 
dancers, though mostly homely, were certainly prettier 
than the average North-German Bauerin, Their hair 
was inclined to light shades which one hardly expected 
to see in so southern a clime, and their eyes were generally 
blue. There was one maiden, however, more comely than 
the rest, with dark almond eyes and raven hair, of a 
strange type, that one meets with now and again in South- 
Sclavonic regions ; a waif from the lands of the morning, 
an Oriental beauty shrouded in no winding-sheet and 
entombed in no harem, but set ofi" by the light white 
muslin of Croatia. 

Then there were other dances in which the men per- 
formed, which were distinguished by stamping, and every 
now and then interrupted by a comic 'spoken.' We 
heard some songs, too ; such as one would imagine might 
break from a flock of sheep if they were to burst into 
spontaneous melody — a wearisome succession of baa-baas, 
varied at intervals by an attempt to see how long they 
could keep on at one note ! The poverty of the instru- 
ments seemed to narrow the range of the human voice. 


Next morning betimes we bade farewell to Siszek, and 
took a passage on tlie Save steamer for Brood, from which 
place we were to begin our foot journey through Bosnia. 
During the early part of the voyage there was little to 
see. Mud banks lined with willows, now and then vil- 
lages of dark timber, where, within the palings of the 
large house-communities, were clustered together several 
dwelling-houses of tea-caddy shape and somewhat pagoda- 
like appearance, due to their having eaves projecting over 
the ground-floor as well as the upper storey. The Save, as 
we enter it, takes a muddier hue than the Kulpa, which 
at Siszek possessed something of the emerald purity of a 
limestone stream. Opposite the confluence of the Save and 
Unna was Jassenovac, taken and held for awhile by the 
Pasha of Bosnia in 1536, after the battle of Mohacz ; it 
is a small town of about 1,100 inhabitants, and, being 
built on piles, is sometimes called New Amsterdam. It 
might also recall the Swiss lake-dwellings, to restorations 
of which many Granitza villages bear a certain family 
likeness ; but I doubt if the boats that float ofi" Jasseno- 
vac are not even more primitive than those of the old 
lake-dwellers, for they are simply great oak-trunks 
hollowed out in a Crusoe-like fashion. Further on we 
passed floating mills, paddle-boats of Noah's Ark-like 
construction anchored in the current, or left behind us 
large flat barges which looked like giant cockchafers 
turned over on their backs. 

We are now on the watery boundary-line between 
Christendom and Isldm, and the contrast between the two 
shores is one of the most striking that can be imagined, 
recalling that between the Bulgarian and Wallachian 
banks of the Lower Danube. On one side Croat men, 



white timicked and white breeked, with bkie vests, and 
fringes of homely lace to their trowsers ; bare-legged 
women, with the shortest of apron-skirts, washing their 
linen in the shallows, coifed in the rosy Eubatz. Now 
and then a town, white honses and bulbous church-spires, 
and citizens in the mourning hues of Western civilisation. 
On the other bank minarets and narrow wooden streets, 
gorgeous Turkish officials, brilliant maidens and mum- 
mied dames, cheerful fezzes and red Bosnian turbans ; and 
it is to be remarked that the men on the Turkish bank, 
owing to their wearing such comparatively shadeless 
head-gear, are distinctly more sunburnt than the Slavo- 
nians of the Austrian side in their broad, black, felt wide- 
awakes. The one side was cold and dull, if compara- 
tively clean ; the other dirty but magnificent. 

Various types illustrative'of the South Sclavonic world 
are to be seen on deck : a Syrmian woman of an Oidental 
cast of feature already spoken of, with dark hair and eyes, 
and a purple skirt; the grave hadji whose acquaintance 
we had made at Siszek, who vouchsafes me a majestic 
nod of recognition ; a Dalmatiner — one of those Italianised 
Sclaves who man the Austrian navy — with blue sailor- 
blouse and bright red sash, sounds the shallows, when the 
steamer slackens speed, with a long pole. A Slavonian 
of that dissipated type which becomes more frequent as 
we approach Syrmia, the mother-country of the famed 
plum-brandy — the Syrmian slivovitz — with low eyebrows, 
a ferocious moustache and an eminently Sclavonic nose, 
is caught by our artist napping, and pocketed as below. ^ 
Beyond Gradisca we came to the prettiest part of the 
river scenery, where the watery mirror reflects the 

» See p. 85. 


undulations of wooded hills ; thence on and on through 
this magnificent oak forest — some of the finest timber in 
all Europe — the home of wolves and bears and sovereign 
eagles, and a few days later to be the refuge of the panic- 
stricken Christian refugees of Bosnia. 

As we neared our destination the question arose 
whether we should sleep in the Austrian or Turkish 
town of Brood ; but we decided, from a previous slight 
acquaintance with a Bosnian town, that we were more 
likely to secure sleep on the Austrian side, where, ac- 
cordingly, we landed and put up at the comfortable ' Eed 
House,' and presently went out to take stock of the place. 
Slavonian Brood is a large wooden village, more abomi- 
nably paved, or rather cobbled, than any town I remem- 
ber. What especially struck us was the chimneys, which 
are of every kind of shape and material, stone and wooden, 
capped with canopies arched and peaked ; and suggesting 
in turn huts, towers, haystacks, tunnels, toadstools, and 
umbrellas ! 

Now, whether it was the fact that we took out our 
sketch-books to immortalise, so far as in us lay, these sooty 
orifices, or whether in the way in which we eyed them 
there was something of the insidious invader, certain it is 
that our motions did not escape the observation of an 
active and intelligent gendarme, who ' knew directly,' as 
he afterwards expressed it to a Croat who gave us the 
relation with great glee, 'that we were Eussian spies.' 
Acting on which supposition with commendable alacrity, 
he came up and demanded our pass. Now there is a 
natural tendency amongst Englishmen to resent such a 
demand as an antiquated absurdity ; but our official was 
so honeyed in manner, so profuse of ' bittes ' and protesta- 


tions of'PJlicht,' that we could not find it in our hearts to 
refuse to satisfy the poor fellow's curiosity. Whereupon 
our friend looked at the paper and twisted it first to one 
side and then to another ; and as he did not understand 
one word of it, shook his head very wisely and handed 
it to his mate, who, not understanding any more, shook 
his head more sagely still, and handed it us back, pro- 
fessing — sly dog ! — that they were satisfied. 

Those chimneys were ' the beginnings of evils ! ' 
We, however, had not recognised the first drops of the 
thunderstorm, and, proceeding tranquilly on our way, 
strolled down past an old church and monastery to the 
high bank overlooking the Save. It was a beautiful pic- 
ture ! — a glorious sunset, crimson, golden, opalescent, mir- 
rored on the silvery expanse of quiet waters, broken only 
by a small green island where stately oak-trees huddled 
together in mid-flood like the giants of an older world ; 
— far beyond the sky-hne, minghng wdth the mysterious 
blue of distant mountains ; on the Slavonian bank, pale 
row^s of poplars and conical haystacks, in relief against the 
dark fringe of primeval forest ; on the further side, a 
verandahed guardhouse and the tip of a minaret — a fore- 
glimpse of another world — and hark! as the sun goes 
down, the solemn tones of the muezzin are faintly borne 
by the evening breeze to the shores of that Christendom 
•wliich once rang with Allah akhar I 

But w^e roused ourselves from the reveries which such 
a scene could not fail to awaken, for the darkness was 
gathering, and a voice within bade us seek the good cheer 
of our inn ; when we were arrested by the sounds of music 
and the sight of a booth near the market-place, and, find- 
ing that a peep-show w^as going on, paid our kreutzers 

80 MARCHED OFF ! Ch. n. 

and went in. A moonlight view of the Tuileries is hardly 
what one would go to Brood to see, and we were begin- 
ning to think the show a trifle dull, when the serenity of 
the sightseers was broken in upon by the abrupt entry 
of two pohce-officers, and from their evident designs on 
some person or persons unknown we were congratulat- 
ing ourselves on the prospect of a more lively spectacle. 
These expectations were indeed justified by the two offi- 
cials pouncing upon L — and myself, and ordering us 

to accompany them immediately to the Commissar of 

' Tell the Commissar of Police that if he wants to see 
us he had better come himself,* said I, who acted as our 

' Very sorry, sir,' said the official addressed, * but our 
orders were to bring you.' 

' Tell him,' I said, ' that we are Englishmen, and are 
not accustomed to be treated in this way ! * 

Here a Slavonian gentleman intervened. He said 
that there must be some misunderstanding ; that it was a 
most unfortunate occurrence ; but, in fact, these men had 
orders to arrest us if we did not follow them at once. 

Evidently, to avoid a row, there was nothing for it 
but to take his advice ; so we were marched along the 
streets of Brood with a gendarme on each side of us, to 
all intents and purposes under arrest ; till at last, in no 
very accommodating humour, we arrived at the official's 
house, a long way off* in the suburbs. Here we were 
stumped through a court, and then ushered into a dirty 
little room, where we found his highness seated at table 
in his shirt-sleeves, chewing a Coriolanan meal of maize. 
He did not get up from his chair to receive us, or even 


offer us a seat ; but glancing at us in a way which made 
us wish to knock him down and conclude the business 
offhand, asked us in a surly and (we fancied) a slightly 
husky voice who we were. * We are Englishmen,' re- 
plied I, in German. ' Give me your pass ! ' shouted the 
Commissar in a still rougher tone ; ' what do you mean 
by ente^^ing the town without reporting yourselves to 


To which I replied that he ought to know as well 
as we did that travellers could pass from one town in the 
monarchy to another without being subjected to such 
annoying regulations ; but that, so far as Brood was con- 
cerned, we had as a matter of fact already shown our passes 
to two gendarmes. What was more, we need scarcely 
inform him that at the present time EngHshmen could pass 
into Austria, just as Austrians into England, without a 
passport being demanded. * And I think, sir,' I added, 
' as you wished to see us, it would have been more civil 
if you had called in person at our hotel.' 

A Polizei-Commissar, bearded in his den by tramps 
and vagabonds like us — it was too much for his petty 
Majesty ! Any strictures on the ceremonial of his state 
reception which I may have held in reserve, were cut 
short by his roaring out, in a still more insufferable 
tone, ' I tell you I will see your pass ! ' 

' Sir,' I replied, 'just to prove to you that we are 
Englishmen, and out of pure courtesy, we are willing to 
show you our pass ; but we must nevertheless protest that 
you have no right whatever to demand it ! ' 

' jSTo right!' screamed the P.-C, almost choking with 
rage, and bouncing from his chair with a spoon in one 
hand, and a maize-stalk in the other. ' / no right ! 



We'll soon see about that. Take them off ! ' he cried to 
his satellites ; * take them off, I say, to the lock-up. 
Eemove him ! ' — as I attempted to insert the thin end of 
a protest, and hurled a few consuls, ambassadors, thrones 
and dominions, at the official's head ; while the gendarmes, 
seeing that it was a disgraceful business, hesitated to 
carry out their chiefs commands — 'Do you hear me? 
I tell you they shall pass the night in gaol. They shall 
show me their pass to-morrow. Quick!' Arid we left 
him muttering ' No right ! ' 

Meanwhile rumours of the successful capture and 
impending doom of two outrageous disturbers of the 
peace had spread throughout the length and breadth of 
Brood, and all Brood was rapidly assembling to see the 
majesty of the law vindicated on our persons ; so that 
when we were led forth again by the police, we were 
followed through the streets by a kind of funeral cortege. 
Presently we turned down another larger court, and, as- 
cending some steps, found ourselves on a raised platform 
outside the door of our intended prison, from which I 
seized the opportunity of addressing a kind of scaffold 
speech to the assembled soldiers and people, which at 
least had the effect of delaying our incarceration. 

I endeavoured to urge on them the seriousness of 
what was about to take place. Two Englishmen, travel- 
ling under the protection of a passport which they were 
willing to produce, were about to be cast into a dungeon 
on the mere fiat of a petty magistrate. That for our- 
selves, gross as was the indignity, we regretted it princi- 
pally for the sake of the Polizei-Commissar. That it 
would be but merciful to allow him a short space for 
repentance ; and here I sketched out vaguely some of the 

CH. rr. 11^ DURANCE VILE. 83 

tremendous consequences which such conduct might bring 
down on his head. That they, too, the gendarmes, would 
do well to think twice before lending a hand in such 
a business. That Brood itself might rue the day ; nor did 
I neglect this opportunity to call up an apparition of a 
British fleet on the Save. Finally, I enquired who was 
the highest authority in Brood, and hearing that it was 
the Stadthauptmann, or Mayor, despatched a gendarme 
to beg that functionary's immediate attendance. 

We flatter ourselves that this harangue was not with- 
out its effect on our audience, who mostly understood 
German ; but the minions of the law must obey, and the 
police ushered us into a wretched cell some seven feet by 
ten, quite dark, with a dais of bare boards to sleep on. 
We were allowed neither light, nor straw, nor water ; and 
when we asked for food — for we were very hungry, having 
tasted nothing since noon, and it being now dusk — that 
was also refused, till we offered a bribe to the officer, who 
then saw the matter in quite a different light. He then 
left the dungeon, the iron bolt grated in the lock, and we 
prepared to shift for the night as best we might. Outside 
we heard a voice of weeping, proceeding apparently from 
a woman and a child, as if touched at our sad fate — - 

though L preferred to believe that the sobs were due 

to the prospective annihilation of the Commissar. Had 
our sympathisers listened, they would have heard a sound 
of chuckhng within, which might have been a consider- 
able relief to their feelings. 

Yet, we had not dined. 

But our threats had begun to work on the official 
mind of Brood, and, as it afterwards turned out, they 
were seconded by no less an advocate than the leader of 

84 LIBERATED ! €H. ir. 

the National party in tlie Croatian Diet, Dr. Makanec, 
who, fired with that enthusiasm for the cause of freedom 
which shortly after led him to secede with his party from 
a bureaucratic assembly, made such representations to the 
Mayor on the outrageous conduct of the Commissar, and 
its probable consequences, as moved his worship to imme- 
diate action. 

Thus it was, that we had not been in durance vile 
half-an-hour when hurried footsteps were heard in the 
court. The door of our cell was thrown open, and the 
Stadthauptmann was before us, bowing and scraping, and 
entreating us with the most profuse apologies to step out. 
He protested that it was an unfortunate misunderstanding, 
and as he had not offended us we were the more ready to 
grant him pardon, and permitted ourselves to be escorted 
in triumph by his whole posse comitatus down the street, 
his worship affecting the most polite interest in our tour. 

Thus we returned victoriously to our inn, where we 
were met by our host, who had been expecting us for 
dinner for sometime, with the expressive question 'Einge- 
sperrt ? ' (' Locked up ? ') ' Eingesperrt ! ' said I. ' So 
was my waiter a day or two ago,' continued our host. 
' What for ? ' we demanded. ' Ah ! that I cannot tell 
you.' ' The fellow ought to be shot ! ' chimed in the 
aggrieved waiter. It appeared that the Commissar was 
a petty tyrant in the place, and our successful stand 
against his insolence created everywhere in Brood the 
liveliest sensations of delight. But why should the 
Brooders have left it to stray Englishmen to beard their 
despot ? and which is the viler, the people who knock 
under to such arbitrary treatment, or the government 
which delegates to its officials the license to abuse the 


personal liberties of its subje(jts ? This is not the first 
time that, for an equally paltry charge, I have seen the 
inside of an Austro-Hungarian prison. The free life of 
the great cities of the empire deceives those foreigners 
whose observations have been confined to the Prater ; 
what ought to be realised is, that while London in a 
sense extends all over England, Pest and Vienna are 
bounded by their suburbs. The truth is, that the Metter- 
nichian regime has not died out entirely in the country 
dist] icts. But when, as I believe was the case in this 
instance, the traditions of the ' Police-State ' are followed 
out by Magyar — or at least Magyarizing — officials, there 
is less excuse for such conduct, and the Hungarians 
should be warned that, by setting up an alien and oppres- 
sive bureaucracy in their Sclavonic Provinces they are 
not likely to retain the high opinion which their noble 
stand against similar tyranny has won for them among 

Head of Fclavonian. 




Insurrectionary Agitation among Southern Sclaves — Proclamation of the 
Pasha of Bosnia — We land in Turkish Brood — Moslem Children — In- 
terview with the Mudir — Behaviour of our Zaptieh —Peasants of Greek 
Church — How these Christians love one another — Arrive at Dervent — 
Interview with Pasha of Banjnluka — Plajduks' Graves — Rayah PIo\el 
—Difficulty with our Host — Dobqj ; its old Castle and Historical Asso- 
ciations— A South Sclavonic Patriot — First Mountain Panorama — The 
' Old Stones/ a prehistoric Monument — Tesanj : its old Castle and 
History — ' Une Petite Guerre ' — Latin Quarter of Tesanj — Soused by 
an old Woman — Influence of Oriental Superstitions on Bosnian Rayahs 
— Argument with the Kaimakam — Excusable Suspicions. 

We spent the next forenoon in exploring some of the 
neighbouring house-communities, a description of which 
has already been given ; and about twelve, after a parting 
wrangle concerning passports with a sentry on the river 
bank, took our places in the ferry-boat that was to convey 
us to the Turkish side ^f the Save. As the shores of 
Christendom were receding from our view, we had leisure 
tj reflect on some slightly sensational topics which had 
lately been forcing themselves on our attention. Tliere 
could be no doubt that the insurrection in the Herzegovina 
was at least holding its gi-ound, and that the agitation in 
the neighbouring Sclavonic lands was increasing in inten- 
sity. A revolutionary committee had already been formed 
in Agram, at Laibach, Spalato, and other Austrian towns. 
At Agram we came in for a concert in aid of the 


insurgents ; at Siszek there arrived the same night as our- 
selves thirty Herzegovinians, who had left the employ- 
ments which they had in Free Serbia, and were hurrying 
to aid their revolted brothers, while many Croats and 
Slovenes from Agram, Marburg, Laibach, and other places 
were — so the Siszekers assured us — also leaving for the 
seat of war. Vague rumours of insurgent successes were 
afloat, and Siszek was thrown into a considerable state of 
excitement by a report that Mostar and Trebinje had both 
fallen into the hands of the Christians. We were assured 
from many sides that if the insurrection were to spread 
a little further, the rayahs of Bosnia would rise also ; 
and fears were entertained for the safety of the Christian 
minority in Serajevo, the capital of Bosnia, and the head- 
quarters of Moslem fanaticism. 

But what touched us more nearly was a proclamation 
which had just appeared, signed by Dervish Pasha, the 
Turkish governor-general of Bosnia, the authorship of 
which the wily Vali, later on, thought fit to deny, but which 
for the present had the desired effect. By it the whole of 
Bosnia was subjected to martial law, as well as the Her- 
zegovina, and its terms were vague and comprehensive 
enough to legalise any violence. ' It is my will,' so ran 
the manifesto, ' that every true believer in the Prophet 
have the right to seize and bring before me anyone 
suspected of taking part in the revolt, or of giving aid to 
the enemies of our exalted master the Sultan. And I 
order that all strangers direct themselves according to the 
laws of the country during the insurrection, which prob- 
ably will not long endure, for already doth the sun of 
the insurgents verge towards its setting. And assuredly * 
—we were informed in the poetic imagery of the East — - 



CH. ni. 

' shall the lightning of the Sultan strike all who order 
not themselves according to my will.' 

' But as to those who harbour the unruly, by the 
sword shall they be cut off; and in all God's houses sub- 
ject to our jurisdiction shall prayers be offered up for the 
help of God and the protection of the prophet, on our 
exalted master the Sultan and his government.' 

View on lliver Save, looking from Slavonian Brood towards the Bosnian Shore. 

But for better or worse our Eubicon is passed, and we 
land on the Turkish shore, among a group of turbaned 
gentry, from amongst whom emerges a somewhat tattered 
soldier, who conducts us to the square, verandahed, 
Karaula or guard-house. Here we are asked by another 
ollicial, in Italian, if we have anything to declare in our 
knapsacks, and having satisfied him by a simple ' Niente,' 
we are again beckoned on by our soldier, and follow him 
into the narrow street of Turkish Brood to show our 
pass to the Praifect or Muclir. Our appearance created as 
great a sensation as was decorous among the big- turbans 
of the townlct ; crowds of Bosnian gamins followed at 

CTT. ni 


our heels ; and we caught a passing ghmpse of a dusky 
Ethiopian maiden white-toothing us in the most coquet- 
tish fashion from behind a door. As the Mudir was not 
at home, we had to wait in the front room of his Konak/ 
if indeed a place which possesses neither door nor window, 
and is completely open to the air on the street side, can 
be called a room ; and taking our seat on the platform or 
raised floor — which in the other houses of the town, as 
generally in Turkey, is used as the squatting-place of 
the shopkeepers, and the counter on which to display 
their wares — became the gazing-stock of a motley assem- 
blage, who, crowding round in the street, or taking 
reserved seats in the melon-shop opposite, ' twigged us ' 
at their leisure. 

We, too, obtained a breathing space in which to 
reahse in what a new world we were. The Bosniacs 
themselves speak of the other side of the Save as 'Europe,' 
and they are right ; for to all intents and purposes a five 
minutes' voyage transports you into Asia. Travellers who 
have seen the Turkish provinces of Syria, Armenia, or 
Egypt, when they enter Bosnia, are at once surprised at 
finding the familiar sights of Asia and Africa reproduced 
in a province of European Turkey. Thrace, Macedonia, 
the shores of the JEgean, Stamboul itself, have lost or 
never displayed many Oriental customs and costumes ; 
but Bosnia remains the chosen land of Mahometan Con- 
servatism, the Goshen of tlie faithful, ennobled by the 
tombs of martyrs, and known in Turkish annals as the 
'Lion that guards the gates of Stamboul.' Fanaticism 
has struck its deepest roots among her renegade popula- 
lation, and reflects itself even in their dress. In no other 

^ The usual name given to the residence of a Turkish official. 

90 MOSLEM CHILDREN. ch. in. 

European province of Turkey is the veiling of women so 
strictly attended to. It is said that not long ago the fine 
egg-shaped turbans of the Janissaries might still be found 
in Bosnia, and the Maulouka, the most precious of all 
mantles, which had died out elsewhere, long survived 
among these Bosnian Tories. As to the introduction of 
fezzes, the Imperial order almost provoked a revolt here ; 
and to this day among Mahometans the fez is almost con- 
fined to officials, the rest of the believers going about m 
the capacious turbans of the East. 

The very darkness of the background, the dirty 
narrow street, the timber houses, the time-stained wooden 
minaret, acted as a foil to the Oriental brilliance of the 
dress and merchandise, the scarlet sashes, the gold 
embroidery, those gorgeous little maidens — doomed most 
of them by sweet thirteen to take the winding-sheets of 
Turkish matrimony, and bury their beauty in harems, 
where by thirty-five they are turned old hags ; but now, 
poor little butterflies ! fluttering out their brief child- 
glimpse of the world — light-smocked, in linen chemises, 
chevroned with rainbow threads of colour — bagged as to 
their legs, but beflowered with roses of Shiraz — pranked 
out with gilt coin-bespangled fezzes, whence fountain-like 
the separate jets of their tresses trickle forth in a score of 
silken plaits ; Perilets, with sisterly arms round each 
other's necks, deigning to smile on the strange Giaours. 
There, too, are their little brothers, showing more of 
their slender legs, but gay as their sisters, in bags and 
tunics, with pates not yet artificially baldened, but long- 
haired as the little maidens, only in softer cascades, faUiug 
down their backs, and fringing their foreheads. Capillati 
(Copi is still the word for boys among the Eoumans of 


East Europe) — one almost hoped to see a bulla round 
their necks ! and indeed I doubt not that they wore many 
a potent spell against the Evil Eye. 

There was one little lad of about five, with blue eyes 
and hair of Scandinavian lightness, the cut of which 
called up some tiny page of Charles the Second's days, 
who, with some of his playmates, crowded so near as to 
shut out the view of the two mysterious Franks from the 
grave and reverend signiors behind, whereupon a Turk, 
who happened to hold a small switch in his hand, came 
forward and flicked these small flies away. The whip just 
touched our small urchin, who moved out of the way 
with the others. He did not cry, but more, as it seemed, 
in sorrow than in anger, fixed on his flagellator a look of 
such childish dignity and grave surprise as should have 
annihilated anyone less impassive than a Turk. It said, 
as plainly as a look can speak, ' I am not accustomed to 
such treatment.' The look of a child may seem a shght 
matter, but it was eloquent of the tenderness with which 
the Turks treat children — a tenderness which does them 
honour. Such an unkind cut was a new experience in 
the little lad's life. 

When our observers had taken sufficient stock of us, 
the propriety of showing us into an upper room of the 
Konak suggested itself to some of them, and we were 
accordingly led upstairs, and invited to squat in a den 
belonging to some subordinate official, who, while waiting 
the Mudir's arrival, treated us to coffee. It was a very 
dirty little room, in which the rags and tatters of an old 
piece of faded carpet and rotten matting made shift for 
chairs and sofas ; these, with a stove such as has been 
described already, pigeon-holed with pots, and a broken 


water-jar, completing the inventory of the furniture. After 
a tedious delay, during which we supposed the worthy 
pra3fect to be at his mid-day prayers, or more probably 
his siesta, the Mudir arrived, and we were ushered into 
his room of state, distinguished from that of his sub. by 
containing a larger area of dirt, and by displaying a 
larger piece of carpet with a more capacious patch, 
but also by possessing a greasy divan on which we. were 
beckoned by the Mudir to take our seat by his side. Our 
official had turned out in grey clothes of European cut, 
and a regulation fez ; but as he could only speak Turkish, 
Arabic, and Bosniac, and as we could none of these, an 
interpreter had to be found in the shape of an Italian- 
speaking Dalmatian woman before we could hold much 
communication. The Mudir was well satisfied with our 
Bujuruldu ; but when we expressed our determination to 
walk through the country, he was fairly taken aback. It 
was evidently a case which had never before come within 
his official experience. There was no precedent for such 
conduct. Nobody, he assured us, ever thought of travel- 
ling on foot in Bosnia ; if we wanted a horse or 
a waggon, he was ready to oblige — but to walk ! We 
had to explain that walking was a weakness of English 
people ; and at last, as I think the good man began to 
believe that it was connected with our religion, and that 
we were pilgrims of some sort, he gave over trying to 
convert us to the Bosnian way of thinking, and told off 
a Zaptieh to escort us to our that day's destination, 
Dervent. Our attempts to rid ourselves from having 
this encumbrance failed, as the autograph letter of the 
Pasha made him responsible for our safety. 

We left Turkish Brood, after first mollifying our 


Zaptieb with a present of tobacco, and for a few miles 
followed the road along the Save valley, stopping once 
to purchase at a roadside cottage some sweet milk — 
sldtko mileko. I have come upon some of our Sclavonic 
cousins who could understand the English word ! The 
homesteads were very like the Croatian and Slavonian 
in general arrangement. The common yard and paling, 
the wooden cottage roofed with long shingles, and the 
various outhouses, were there, but the wickerwork maize- 
garners were less capacious and more like large clothes- 
baskets, and the whole was on a smaller scale. We 
heard that the system of house-communities existed here- 
abouts to a much less extent than on the Austrian side 
of the Save, but here and there as many as three or four 
families are to be found in the same homestead with a 
common house-father and house-mother. Eound each 
cottage were a number of plum-trees, and in each yard 
was a small distillery for making Slivovitz. Further on, 
a Serbian merchant drove up in an Araba or native 
waggon, and courteously invited us to take a quarter of 
an hour's lift, which we accepted, though it was sad jolty 
work, and we were not sorry to get out again. 

Soon after passing a Turkish graveyard, with the 
usual turbaned tombstones — some of the turbans of ma- 
jestic height — we turned off from the Save Valley, and, 
leaving the road, waded across the Ukrina stream, when 
to our astonishment the Zaptieh, instead of following, 
stood shivering on the brink ; but our surprise was 
turned to indignation when the fellow shouted to a 
Christian woman, who was passing along the other bank, 
to carry him across ! We gave vent to such forcible ex- 
pressions of disapprobation as deterred the poor woman 


from obeying my lord's commands ; but a rayab man 
coming up, the Zaptieh, notwithstanding our indignant 
Jok I jok ! (No I no !) succeeded in requisitioning him, 
and in spite of all our gesticulations the Christian carried 
over our escort on his back. When the Zaptieh saw that 
we were very angry, he recompensed his bearer with a 
handful of tobacco ; and it must be owned that the 
Christian seemed satisfied with the transaction, and that 
neither the leggings nor the boots of the Zaptieh were 
adapted for rapid disembarrassment. 

Further on we ascended a gentle chain of hills by deli- 
cious foot-paths across hayfields, or amidst luxuriant crops 
of maize — through oak-forests, and, what was stranger, 
woods of plum-trees laden with small unripe fruit ; and 
now and again along pretty country lanes, where the 
hedges feasted us with a profusion of blackberries whose 
size attested the richness of the soil, and whose flavour 
seemed to combine all that was nicest in blackberry and 
mulberry. Both fields and hedgerows were varied with 
a beautiful array of flowers, amongst which I noticed 
yellow snapdragon, sky-blue flax, a sweet flowering-rush, 
and a heath of wondrous aroma. 

About sunset we stopped at a small shed on the banks 
of the Ukrina, where, seated among a group of Christian 
peasants, we regaled ourselves with black coffee which 
was being dispensed at the rate of about a farthing a 
small cup. Hard by, fixed over the Ukrina stream, was 
a water-mill for grinding corn, of the most primitive 
construction, an idea of which is best given by the 
accompanying diagram. These turbines are universal 
throughout Bosnia, and are to be also seen in Croatia. 

The peasants here were mostly Vlaclis, that is, they 




belonged to the Greek Church. The men wore red and 
black turbans, a flowing white linen tunic like the Croats, 
with a fringe of that coarse lace which we had noticed in 
Slavonia. A leathern belt wound several times round the 
waist served as a pocket for their smoking apparatus ; 
their trousers were worn loose and expansive as the Croa- 
tian, sometimes close about the calf; their hair was some- 

Plan of Turbine Mill. 

times plaited together behind, and sometimes hung dov/n 
in two elf-locks — the crown of the head being shaven, 
as with the Turks. As to the women, they were dressed 
in light tunics and aprons, much as Croats and Slavo- 
nians, but their hair was often plaited hke the men's into 
a single pig-tail. On their head was a white kerchief ar- 
ranged in a fashion peculiar to themselves, with a flower- 
like tassel at one side ; and they usually wore in front of 



Bosnian Girl of the Pos8fi,vina. 

the two necessary aprons a superfluous black one with 
long frhjge. Here is a Greek Christian girl that we saw 

at a well, and who graciously 
allowed us to slake our thirst 
from the bucket she had just 
drawn up. 

These Greek Church wo- 
men wore blue embroidery to 
their dresses, but the Eoman 
Catholics of this part, though 
dressing otherwise like the 
Greeks, distinguish themselves 
from their fellow-Christians by 
embroidering their clothes with 
red, while their men protest 
against a Universal Church by wearing tighter breeches 
than the Orthodox. It is hardly to be expected after this 
that they should call the founder of their faith by the same 
name; and, indeed, the Eomanists call Christ 'Krst,' and 
themselves ' Krisciani,' while the Greeks speak of ' Hrist ' 
and of themselves as 'Hrisciani;' so that H in Bosnia 
is a shibboleth. The Greek Bosnians use CyriUian cha- 
racters, and call themselves distinctively Serbs or Pravo- 
slaves, that is, * the orthodox ; ' the others look on the 
Cyrillian character as a snare of the devil, and, far from 
trying to claim fellowship wnth the people of Free Serbia, 
style themselves Latins — ' Latinski' — for it always seems 
to be a tendency of Eomanists to thrust patriotic interests 
into the background. 

The Christian men dress much as the Turks about 
here, or, to put it more accurately, the poorer Mussulman 
Bosniacs have not much departed from their old Scla- 


vonic attire ; and though the Turkish townspeople show 
themselves off in indigo bags and Oriental vests, their 
peasants are often only to be distinguished from the 
Christians round by a preference for white turbans. 

We now crossed the Ui^rina stream once more, by 
means of a weir set up to increase the water-power of 
the turbine, and presently struck again upon the road 
just before entering Dervent, our halting-place for the 
night, which rose up before us picturesquely perched, 
with its two minarets, on a height above the river. Here 
we were first conducted by our Zaptieh to the Konak of 
the Ka'imakam — a bigger personage than a Mudir. But 
we, mistaking the official residence for a hostelry, were be- 
ginning to air our Bosniac in an attempt to order dinner, 
when a demand for our Bujiu^uldu put a stop to these 
indiscreet utterances. Leaving our pass at the Konak 
for the night, to be digested at leisure by the authorities, 
we found a real Han^ and being shown an upper room, 
with a few bits of matting and carpet stretched on the 
divan to serve as beds and seats, were presently supping 
a la Bosniaque. Our menu consisted of hot milk, a fowl 
(pili), chlebba, or bread in shape of a round flat cake, 
brownish and coarse and rather sour, but superior to the 
black bread one meets with in German villages ; Med, or 
honey ; and the usual black coffee, all set before us in 
tinned-copper dishes on a round tray of the same metal — 
the TepUa — as is usual in Turkey. 

Our landlord could speak a little Italian, and we 
found a very pleasant German Jew, who acted as our 
interpreter and gave us what information we desired as 
to the neighbourhood. From him we learnt that in 
Dervent, of the population estimated at 2,000, about 40 



per cent, belonged to the Greek Church, most of the 
rest being Mahometan. Although there are no native 
newspapers, a knowledge of the revolt in the Herzegovina 
had spread among the Christians here by means of the 
orthodox priests, but the rayahs were described to us as 
too down-trodden even to wish to rise. 

We shared our apartment with an Imam, a Maho- 
metan priest, who dined opposite us from another tray, 
having first most religiously washed his hands. The holy 
man slept considerably sounder than we, who were unused 
to this Turkish kennelling and its concomitants, and cer- 
tainly were not at all sorry when our Jewish friend roused 
us next morning, to say that the Pasha of Banjaluka desired 
us to pay him a visit at the Konak. 

We found the old gentleman seated on a divan of 
more sumptuous appearance than any we had yet seen, 
with two other dignitaries, a Mutasarif (probably of Ban- 
jaluka), and the Kaimakam of Dervent. Two chairs 
were brought for the ' Europeans ; ' and the Pasha, after 
enquiring courteously about our travels, and giving us a 
friendly message to our Consul, chose out for us a Zap- 
tieh after his own heart, who was to escort us on our 
next day's march, and whom he particularly enjoined to 
obey us in everything, wait when we waited, and sleep 
where we slept. His excellency was as fat and jolly a 
personage as ever dined, and in a grey European dress, 
with his measured English way of speaking, good-hu- 
moured face, and hearty manner, he reminded us more 
of a fox-hunting squire than a Turk ; though there are 
episodes in his hfe — and Ali Eiza Pashk is an historical 
character —which smack more of the Divan than the 
hunting-field. He began his career as a soldier, but soon 


discovered that swasli-bucklering was not his forte, and 
that his nerves were better adapted for the arts of peace ; 
for, coming upon the Eussians near Kars, he literally took 
to his heels, and having the misfortune to be followed 
by his men, was dismissed the army. But he had now 
proved himself incapable, and accordingly became a na- 
tural recipient of Turkish honours. In due course he was 
created a Pasha, and received the lucrative post of Ban- 
jaluka, where to this day, though he is unable to write 
his name, he retains his office by administering heavy 
bribes alternately at Stamboul and Serajevo. With the 
Divan it has long been an arcanum imperii that the 
more incompetent the official the greater his tribute of 
bribery. At this moment our Pasha was engaged in 
collecting troops to be employed, so it was said, against 
the insurgents in the Herzegovina. But why were 
they to be massed at Banjaluka, in a remote corner of 
Bosnia ? 

Leaving the Konak, we took a stroll through tlie 
streets of Dervent, and observed the wares, which may 
be divided into two kinds — the Oriental and the English. 
Many Manchester goods, Sheffield cutlery, and other use- 
ful articles, find their way here from England by way of 
Trieste ; and we actually found in our chamber in the 
Han a hair-brush with the name of an English maker on 
it. The chief product of Dervent and its neighbourhood, 
besides the Slivovitz, which every cottage makes for itself, 
is dried plums. These plums are especially grown in 
the Possavina — the part of Bosnia bordering on the Save 
— and indeed form the principal article of the export of 
the country, amounting yearly in value to about 40,000/., 
nearly an eighth of her total exports. They are shipped 


up the Save and then overland to Trieste, where they are 
packed in wooden boxes, and thence find their way to 
the Western markets, so that many of the inferior quaU- 
ties of the so-called French plums sold in this country are 
really Bosnian. 

At 8.30 we left Dervent, passing the shapeless ruins 
of an old castle, two walls of which can alone be traced 
now, and two mosques, one of them almost as dilapidated 
as the castle wall. Our march lay through a beautiful 
country, over the undulating hills which separate the 
valleys of the Save and Bosna, beyond which, in the ex- 
quisitely clear air, rose the lilac outlines of loftier ranges, 
while every now and then a gap in the hills would reveal 
to us the rich Possavina spread out below in dim vistas of 
forest and cornland. We partly kept to the road, partly 
indulged in short cuts and by-paths through a country 
sparsely scattered at long intervals with huts and stray 

Then the scenery took a wilder aspect. We passed 
through lonely woods of scrubby oak, and next set 
to traversing long stretches of open land, relieved with 
island-like patches and clumps, of nut-trees w^eighed 
down by the fond embraces of wild vines. Eare commons 
they were ! and of varying mood ; funereal with juniper, 
or a-frolic with a bright array of butterflies — azure blues, 
clouded yellows, silver- washed fritillaries, majestic swal- 
low-tails, rising in short flights, and then floating through 
the air steered by their twin-rudders — they and all drink- 
ing in the nectar which the tropical sun distilled from 
seas of heath and bracken, till the whole air was filled 
with a kind of subtle steam. 

But butterflies have no knapsacks I and we ourselves 

CH. in. ' HAJDUKS' GRAVES.' 101 

were glad enough to take refuge for a while from the 
intense heat of noon in a little Han called Modran, where 
we obtained a light refection, consisting of coffee and a 

Beyond this we crossed a neck of land where the 
oaks gave place to stunted beeches, and noticed by 
the roadside two small tombstones. 'Hajduks' graves ! ' 
ejaculated our Zaptieh. On one was engraved a Latin, 
on the other a Greek cross, so they were the graves of 
Christians ; but how had they met their fate ? Had 
they turned brigands ? — to redress, perhaps, some wrong 
unutterable ? — or were they rather the victims of some 
outrage ? For in Bosnia it is usual to bury the murdered 
on the side of the road where they fall, and there are 
other highways in the province lined with such monuments. 
But the stones are hoar and without inscription. 

We next passed a caravan of pack-horses heavily laden 
with bales, and proceeding, like everything else in Bosnia, 
at a snail's pace, and then caught a glimpse of the Eoman 
CathoHc church of Foca, a long straggling village lying 
in a valley to the right. The village seemed to shrink 
away from the high road, but one cottage was nearer, 
and into the small yard of this our Zaptieh led us, to see 
if we could procure any food. Here we found a 
Christian woman with a small child, who, bringing 
out two ragged pieces of carpet for us to lie on outside 
her hut, did her best to prepare us a meal, and presently 
set before us a couple of toasted maize-stalks, five eggs 
poached in sour milk, some unripe plums, and unleavened 
maize and rye- bread. For all this she only charged us a 
single ' grosch,' or about twopence, and seemed surprised 
wlien we trebled that amount. 

102 A RAYAH HOVEL. ch. m. 

I can hardly describe the misery of the hovel and its 
surroundings, the haggard mother and poor squalid brat, 
scarcely better clad than when it entered the world, — the 
all'Wretchedest of homes — with earth for flooring, a few 
stones in the middle to support the fire, above which 
hung a piece of hooked wood to support a caldron, — a 
small hole opening in the roof to let out the smoke, 
which had covered the wooden walls with soot like the 
inside of a chimney ; a low partition shutting off the lair. 
There was no light but what came in at the door, and the 
few tatters she had strewn outside for us were the only 
furniture. There was besides, a shed, in which we 
imagined a cow, a small hen-roost, and a little patch of 
maize ; but how little of this ever went to the rayah who 
tilled it was shown by the size of the garner, which was 
a mere wicker-work basket. But the most indescribable 
tokens of destitution were some clothes, or w^hat once 
had been such, hung to the fence, — they were mere 
shapeless bundles of rags ! We could not wonder much 
after this that the rest of the Christian village shunned the 
neighbourhood of the road. 

Leaving this abode of misery we began to descend 
into the valley of the Bosna, and pursuing a lane whose 
h(idges were brilliant with the scarlet sprays of wild vines 
— they can take the gorgeous hues of Virginia creepers — 
we arrived about five at a small Han called Eadanka, 
about an hour from Doboj, where we were glad to turn 
in, and obtained much the same accommodation as the 
night before. We were much amused at our Zaptieh, 
who showed religious scruples against taking the sour 
wine of the country, obtainable here, but drank copious 
draughts of Arrack (Eaki), and showed no objection to 


Eum. At Doboj, however, where we got good red Sla- 
vonian wine, these scruples vanished. 

Next morning we had a difficulty with mine host, a 
German-speaking Slavonian, who charged us a ducat — a 
monstrous sum for a night's entertainment in Bosnia, and 
over three times as much as we had paid at Dervent. Our 
Zaptieh assessed us at half the amount, and we were pre- 
paring to pay that nmch and be off; but the Hanjia had 

the wit to lock up L 's knapsack, so we had nothing 

for it but to offer our host the choice of accepting our 
terms, or the ducat he demanded, with the prospect of 
being complained of to the Mudir of Doboj. He chose 
the latter alternative, and we left, our Zaptieh shouting 
* Hajdiik Hanjia ! ' (Brigand innkeeper !) 

Our Zaptieh was, in his way, a very good fellow, and 
we were pleased at the friendly manner in which he 
treated the rayahs. His demonstrations of affection to- 
wards ourselves and Englishmen in general were perhaps 
a httle too hilarious ; for he kept shouting for miles at a 
time that the Turks and English were brothers. He ac- 
companied us presently in a swim in the blue waters of 
the Bosna, which is here so rapid that we had to choose 
out a sheltered bay in which to disport ourselves. About 
half an hour after, resuming our trudge, on passing a turn 
in the road, the old castle of Doboj rose before us, finely 
seated on a conical hill. 

We found a Han in the lower part of the town, and 
then visited the Mudir, whom we found seated on a small 
but neat and brilliant divan, and to whom our Zaptieh 
poured forth the story of our Hanjia's extortion. We 
have some reason to beheve that two Zaptiehs were dis- 
patched to enquire into the matter. 


We now ascended the hill to explore the upper part 
of the town and the castle. The main street is an undu- 
lating and snaky mud-path, along each side of which are 
ranged the usual unglazed shops, in which English cottons, 
knives and scissors, and European-labelled bottles con- 
taining various spirits, are mixed with gold-embroidered 
Turkish apparel, and a variety of 
tinned-copper salvers, and water 
vessels of coffee-pot shape. In one 
shop were for sale rude hand-mills 
of this shape for grinding salt. 

But the wine shop carried one 
back to some tavern of antiquity. It 

Diagram of Salt-mill. ^ ^ 

displayed a wooden bar facing the 
street, covered with an array of jars, ' iestjas ' as they are 
still called hereabouts, Eoman alike in shape and name, 
behind which the vendor stood and filled brimming cups 
and jars with thick red wine for the passers-by. The 
whole scene called to mind a more classic wine-bar, as it is 
still to be seen on the monument of a Gallo-Eoman taverner 
discovered at Dijon. 

We now directed our footsteps to the old castle that 
crowns the summit of the hill. The ' Starigrad,' as it is 
called here, is one of the most interesting historic rehcs 
in the whole of Bosnia. A glance from its mouldering 
walls makes one realise the importance of its situation. 
The peak on which the castle of Doboj stands juts out 
abruptly into the valley of the Bosna just at the ])oint 
where in one direction the Sprecca opens out an avcniue 
towards the Drina and Serbian frontier, and in the other 
the pass of Dervent conducts the road to Croatia. The 
castle, therefore, was the key to the whole valley of the 




Bosna against a foe coming from the Hungarian plains, 
and commanded the highway through the province of 
Ussora to the very heart of the Bosnian kingdom. The 
maize-covered river- flat that spreads beloAV it seems one 
of those spots destined by nature to be the battle-field of 

Old Castle of Doboj. 

nations ; and the very name of Doboj or Dvoboi, as it 
was formerly written, means in Bosniac ' the two fights.' 

As Prince of Ussora, this castle belonged to Tvartko 
I., who first erected Bosnia into a kingdom. He en- 
trusted the stronghold to the safe keeping of the Croatian 
Ban, John Horvath, with whom he w^as bound by common 
jealousy of the Hungarian suzerain. It was within its 
walls that the Ban, the bishop of Agram, and the King of 
Bosnia, concocted, in 1387, the plot by which the 
Hungarian queen and queen-mother were seized, and the 
Croat and Bosnian magnates revolted against Sigismund, 
the King of Hungary. But Sigismund was victorious, 


and in 1391 the Ban and bishop were shut up within 
the walls of Doboj/ and captured ; the Ban while at- 
tempting to escape, the bishop in the castle itself, which 
was forced to surrender ; while the King of Bosnia, seeing 
his province of Ussora overrun, was forced to retiu-n to 
his allegiance. In 1408 another revolt, under Tvartko 
III., against the Hungarian suzerain, was crushed under 
these same walls, and the King of Bosnia himself captured 
in the battle. A terrible vengeance now followed, and 
180 nobles, Bosnian and Croatian, are said to have been 
executed within these walls, and their bodies thrown into 
the river below. This was at a time when both Hungary 
and Bosnia should have been united against the Turkish 
invaders. But the sad national tragedy was being played 
out, and in due course Doboj, the key of the Christian 
kingdom, became the stronghold of the Turk. It is a 
place full of dismal associations for the Christians of 
Bosnia ; they seem to shrink instinctively from the ill- 
omened site, and at this day the population of Doboj is 
almost exclusively Mahometan. We could not wonder 
at coming upon a tradition among the rayahs of this 
neighbourhood that it was within these walls that the old 
Bosnian nobility forswore their faith and country and 
renegaded to the. Infidel. 

Under the Turks the castle appears to have long since 
fallen into the decay in which it now moulders. Prince 
Eugene seems to have found no difficulty in taking it en 

* According to some accounts Dohor, a village further down the Bosua, 
waa the scene of this conspiracy and its denouement. But Doboj , whose great 
castle was certainly the scene of the tragedy of 1408, seems the more pro- 
bahle reading. It seems to me possible that Doboj was first called Dobor 
like the lower village, and that the name Doboj or Dvohoj was afterwards 
afhxed to it by reason of its having been the scene of these two struggles. 
Towns run a good deal in couples in Bosnia, and there may well have been 
a Veliki and Matt Dobor. 


passant during liis hasty dash into Bosnia in 1697 ; and 
in 1717 it again fell for awhile into the hands of the 
imperialists under General Petrasch. At the present day- 
even the Turks recognise it as a ruin, and apparently 
throw no obstacle in the w^ay of those who may wish to 
explore it. We, at' any rate, entered the old fortress un- 
opposed, passing through a now broken archway, the 
former outer gate of the castle, which opens on its least 
precipitous side upon the neck of the hill where the pre- 
sent upper town of Doboj is situated. 

We now found ourselves in the outer yard, between 
the castle and the exterior walls, in a kind of covered 
causeway leading to the inner gateway of the castle itself. 
Here, groping among the rubble, we discovered an old 
cannon of apparently very early date, with two dolphins 
forming handles — an ancient trophy, we liked to think, 
from the Venetians ; but though we looked carefully 
about the walls and fragments for any inscriptions or 
elegant details of architecture, we hit on nothing except 
an old square stone with an almost effaced chevron mould- 
ing round it, set in a dark and inaccessible position in 
the wall inside the castle-gateway, and which may have 
had some further device on it. Entering by this gate- 
way, the arch of which is of ogival shape, we passed the 
remains of what may have been the dwelling-house of 
some former Turkish commandant, now in a state which 
makes it dangerous to the passer-by. Then clambering 
up among the more ancient and massive ruins, we came 
upon an old chamber in the wall, with a barrel-vaulting, 
where we discovered a quantity of rotten musket-stocks, 
which must have been mouldering here for centuries, and 
a small arsenal-full of stone cannon-balls, such as from 
time to dme turn up on Bosworth Field. Fuither on we 


came to the tower which forms the northern corner of 
the castle, which is tolerably perfect inside, and in shape 
resembles a halved octagon. There appear to have been 
two other towers at the two other corners of the castle, 
which in shape is triangular ; but I will not attempt more 
than a rough plan of this medlej^ of ruins, which, half-con- 
cealed with brambles and wild vine, and tufted in every 
crevice with maidenhair and rue-fern, are more picturesque 
than intelligible. 

Having returned to our Han, we found our Mudir 
seated on a divan in one of the rooms, which was strewn 
with bright Eoumelian carpets, in general character very 
like the Slavonian. He knew no tongues but Bosniac, 
Arabic, Turkish, and modern Greek ; but though I suc- 
ceeded in describing to him our visit to the castle in the 
language of Thucydides, we found it on the whole better 
to make use of our host — a Montenegrine by birth, who 
has picked up a little Swabian — as an interpreter. The 
Mudir told us that the Turkish government were anxious 
to dispose of the old castle as an eligible site, or a useful 
quarry for building purposes. Shade of Bosnian kings ! 
Our Mahometan, with the greatest sangfroid^ ordered a 
bottle of thick red Slavonian wine, and proceeded to con- 
sume it before our eyes ; but the wine-bar in the upper 
town had already familiarised us with the laxity of true- 

As the Mudir could not understand German, the 
Montenegrine, who was an ardent Southern Sclave, could 
give vent to his patriotic sentiments without reserve. He 
literally devoured our map of the Herzegovina, and en- 
treated us to sell it him. He believed the insurrection 
would be successful, and liad Iicard that Mostar was 


blockaded — for rumours of the first slight successes of 
the insurgents in the Narenta valley had penetrated in 
an exaggerated form to the extremities of Bosnia. We 
asked if he believed that the Christian Bosniacs of the 
neighbourhood would rise ? 

' No,' he answered ; ' I have little hopes of them — 
they are a poor lot ! ' but (pointing to the mountains of 
the south-east) ' out there, about Dolnja Tuzla, and along 
the Serbian frontier, there is a finer race of men ; they 
will join their brothers against the Turkish swine ! We 
think that even you English will leave the Turks to their 
fate this time.' 

I said that there were other European nations from 
whom the Southern Sclaves had more to fear than from 

' Yes,' he continued ; ' we know the ambition of 
Eussia ; but we don't want the Eussians to lord it over us 
any more than the Turks ! no, nor the Austrians either.' 

While sketching the Starigrad I had another proof of 
the kindness with which the Bosniac Turks treat children. 
A small boy of about seven came up in the most fearless 
manner and stated for my benefit that a plum-tree was 
called ' sliva,' and a house ' kuca,' all which and sundry 
other items of information the little man volunteered 
without the slightest sign of distrust at my outlandish 
appearance. As I took a last twihght glimpse at the 
mournfully historic castle a star was setting beneath its 
topmost parapet, as if to betoken that the dreams of 
patriots were vain and the hopes of Christian Bosnia had 
set for ever. 

We passed an unquiet night, owing to swarms of 
gnats, which droned about our chamber and forced us to 


cover our faces with nets ; and were up, and, with a new 
Zaptieh who had been assigned to us by the Mudir, on 
our way again almost before it was hght, bound for 
Tesanj, the old capital of Ussora. For an hour or so we 
still fallowed the valley of the Bosna, which is here very 
beautiful, the timber finer than any we have yet seen in 
Bosnia, tall poplars and magnificent oaks crowning the 
banks or chequering the emerald pools with their shadows. 
On each side of the valley rose the slopes of the low forest- 
mountains, usually at a gentle incline, but at one point 
a sheer chff* of the most brilliant limestone — snow-white 
as Parian marble — towered above our path. This was 
just at the point where the Ussora torrent runs into the 
Bosna, and here we left the main road and turned off 
towards Tesanj by country lanes, following for some time 
the right bank of the Ussora. On our way we twice 
stopped to refresh oiu"selves at wayside cafes, which are 
simply rough sheds — four poles supporting a thatch of 
leafy branches — beneath whose shade sits the coffee- 
maker with a supply of copper pots, earthenware testjas, 
and brilliant little cups of about the capacity of an ordinaiy 
wine-glass. Eound the shed run planks raised about a 
foot from the ground, which serve the wayfarer as a 
divan on which to quaff the black powdery thimblefuls, 
or to demolish huge slices of water-melon. As we walked 
on we were much struck by the tameness of the magpies, 
which would settle just before us, and let us approach as 
near as if they were domesticated pigeons. About two 
hours from Tesanj we left our valley and gradually as- 
cended a wooded range which rises some 1300 feet above 
the Bosna, where the beeches became larger — a forest of 
tliick pollard stumps, which gradually gladed out into 


luxuriant heather-land, deliciously perfumed with ferny 
incense, from which opened out our first panorama of the 
mountain-peaks that form the heart of Bosnia. In the 
blue distance rose the dominating cone of Vlasic, but there 
were no grim Alpine giants, no glacier seas, no jagged 
horns of rock. The speciality of the mountains was rather 
their softness of contour. What was quite strange to us 
was the aerial clearness, the refined delicacy of the 
colouring — turquoise, hlac, and faint pervading pink. 

As we were preparing to begin our descent from these 
uplands towards Tesanj, some large white objects amongst 
the heather on a neighbouring hill caught our eye, which, 
on investigation, we found to belong to a curious pre- 
historic monument of the kind popularly known as Druidic. 
It was an alignment of large oblong blocks along the 
neck of the hill ; but the stones, unlike those of Stonehenge 
or Carnac, were laid on their faces, and not set upright. 
The blocks, which were composed of limestone and con- 
glomerate, had in most cases been roughly squared, and 
the largest measured seven feet by four. The chain ex- 
tended between two knolls of the hill-top, and on looking 
along it from the lowest of these (see diagram, p. 112), 
it presented a wavy and serpentine appearance, which 
may have been due to the slight inequalities of the soil. 
At one point near this end rose a small hillock capped 
by a larger than ordinary block of snow-white limestone, 
in form hexangular, and with some of the facets deftly 
hewn (see diagram). Before this on either side were two 
smaller and flatter slabs of rock, arranged apparently 
with some special reference to the block between them, 
and which gave me the impression that it had been meant 
to serve as an altar ; though whether these stones were 



CH. m. 

The • Old StoneB,' near Tesan j. 


set here by heathen Sclaves or by one of the earher races 
of Illyria, and with what object, it would be hazardous 
to conjecture. By the peasants about they are known as 
the Old Stones — Stari Steona. 

Nearing Tesanj we came upon, and partly followed, 
the remains of an ancient road, roughly paved in such an 
antique fashion as to remind me of the streets from time 
to time exhumed on the sites of Eoman towns. Perhaps 
it really in some way represented the continuity of Roman 
engineering. Certain it is that the wooden bridges, such 
as the one on which we crossed the Ussora, and others 
that we were afterwards to meet with, with their beam- 
work arches and supports and their lattice railings, 
strangely recalled some of Trajan's handicraft. The 
Bosnian waggons — not so unlike, either, in form, the ge- 
mentia plaustra of antiquity — as they rumble along the 
old-world roads and bridges, with creaking so loud and 
stridulous as literally to make woods and rocks re-echo 
with their wailing, bring before you another feature in 
the country life of classic times, which in the England of 
to-day it is hard to realise. With such discord piercing 
your ears, there seems new point in those exquisite lines 
of Martial which describe his friend's garden as not too 
near the highway — ' ne blando rota sit molesta somno.' ^ 
Heard from afar the sound is not so unpleasant, and might 
be mistaken for the plaintive whistling of the wind ; but 
if any one wants to know what it is like at close quarters, 
he had better tweak a young pig's tail and listen. 

The view which now broke upon us was the most 
\ beautiful that we had yet set eyes on in Bosnia. It is 

1 Martial, Ep. lib. iv. 64. 




best seen by climbing the higli rocks which start up 
above the Uttle Tesanska Eieka. Below you winds the 
gorge of the shallow stream, its steeps and narrow meadow- 
land shaded wdth orchards and plum-woods, amongst 
which peep out the chalet-like roofs and slender minarets 
of the truly Alpine town of Tesanj. But all this only 
forms an avenue to a bold rocky height which leaves the 
town clinging to the two sides of the valley and towers 
up in the middle in isolated grandeur, crowned with the 

Castle of TeSanj. 

old castle of the Bans of Ussora, whose walls on one side 
frown over an overhanging precipice on to the sources of 
the rivulet several hundred feet below. It is more per- 
fect, but not so open to investigation as that of Doboj, 
being still made use of by the Turks. Like the other it 
IS triangular, and ends in a polygonal tower, which here 
is capped by a conical roof. Below this tower are some 


subsidiary fortifications and a solitary tower, in general 
effect not unlike the Campanile of St. Mark at Venice on 
a small scale. 

Parts of the castle are probably of great antiquity. 
Indeed the magnificence of the position would point it 
out as a stronghold in any age. Tesanj is in fact one of 
the earhest Sclavonic strongholds in Bosnia of which 
we possess any record, if we may be allowed to 
identify it with the Tesnec mentioned as a Serbian 
town by Constantine Porphyrogenitus in tlie tenth cen- 
tury. It was the residence of the Bans of Ussora, and 
probably of earlier Zupans, the former area of whose 
jurisdiction seems to be still indicated by the name Zupa, 
which clings to this mountainous triangle between the 
Bosna and the Verbas. When Ussora became a pro- 
vince of Bosnia, and Bosnia a kingdom., Tesanj was there- 
fore a royal castle, and it was probably one of the seventy 
strongholds ' defended by nature and art ' which fell 
into the hands of Mahomet II. during those terrible 
eight days which followed the capture of the last Bosnian 
king in 1463. Soon afterwards, however, when Matthias 
Corvinus restored Northern Bosnia to Hungary and Chris- 
tendom, and made of it the Banat of Jaycze, Tesanj 
was again set free from the Paynim yoke. But it fell 
into the custody of the Voivode, whose carelessness lost 
Zvornik to the Pasha of Upper Bosnia in J 520. The 
Pasha, regardless of terms of capitulation which he had 
conceded, ' keeping,' as the Bosniacs bitterly expressed 
it, ' Turkish faith,' butchered all except the young 
or the beautiful, who might be useful for the harem or 
the Janissary camp. When the people of Tesanj, and 
they of Sokol, another fortress held by this Unready, 

r 2 

116 A 'NEW TURK.' 

CH. 111. 

heard of the miserable fate of the Zwornikers, a panic 
seized on them, and, setting fire to the castle, they fled to 
the mountains, though it is said that few escaped the 
Turkish sword. With Tesanj ^ one of the keys of Lower 
Bosnia was lost, and the Banat of Jaycze did not long 
survive this disaster. 

At present Tesanj has some importance as a centre of 
the corn trade, and though containing but 30,000 inhabit- 
ants at the outside, is a seat of a Katoakam, a more 
exalted governor than a Mudir, to whose sumptuous white 
Konak we now made our way. As we approached it we 
found the whole place buzzing with peasants, who were 
issuing from the Konak in troops, and we were obhged 
to wait some time in an antechamber, where we were 
at liberty to exchange a few remarks with a good-natiu-ed 
Itahan-speaking official, before we were admitted to the 
great man's presence. When we were admitted we found 
a very civilised being in thin white clothes of European 
cut, and who but for his fez might have been mistaken 
for an Italian. He looked dreadfully bored, and not 
without reason, for he had been reviewing hundreds of 
peasants all the morning ; but he was extremely courteous, 
and treated us to the usual coffee and 'cigarettes. Paper 
cigarettes ! — twenty years ago they w^ould have been 
narghiles, ambery. Oriental, ablaze with gold and jewels, 
enchantingly barbaric ; but their date is fled ; the West 
advances and the East recedes ; and now, even in Con- 
servative old Bosnia, the pipe is degenerating into the 
symbol of a fogy ! Sic transit gloria rnundi. It was to be 
observed that the Kaimakam's coffee-cup was twice as big 
as ours ; but, as L remarked, ' we could not well com- 

* I assume that the Castrum Tessenii of the Chronicles mean Teilanj, 

CH. iir. 



plain.' We were able to converse with him, as we found 
that he could sj)eak French ' full feteously.' On our en- 
quiring what the large assemblage of peasants meant, he 
explained that he was collecting the Eedif or reserve, 
adding incidentally, for our information, 'JSTous avons 
une petite guerre dans I'Herzek.' But why, we asked 
one another again, were the reserves to be sent to Ban- 
jaluka ? 

The Kaimakam attached a new Zaptieh to us, with 
orders to find us suitable lodgings in the town. What 

Turkish Cafe, Tesanj. 

was our dismay when he led us into a dark and filthy 
stable ! — but following him up a ladder we emerged on the 
landing of what we afterwards learnt by experience to be 
the typical Bosnian inn, in which the whole ground floor 
is set apart for horses. Our room w^as fairly clean, but 
infested with an ambuscade of carpeting ; and our host, 
who was a Eoman Catholic, soon provided us with a meal 


en. III. 

of which fhe principal features were hard-boiled eggs, 
flat cakes of very fair bread, and a curious Asiatic dish of 
clotted cream called kaimak, which in Bosnia varies 
according to the local cuisine, from an approach to 
Devonshire cream to the mere scum of boiled milk, and 
is sometimes mixed with little lumps of honey or sugar. 
From here I adjourned to a neighbouring cafe, discovered 
by entering another stable and climbing another ladder, 

leaving L to the safe keeping of our Zaptieh, who 

was snoring on the floor of our room. I found myself 
amidst a bevy of comfortable Turks, who were alternately 
sipping their mocha and smoking their long chibouks, — 
for they belonged to the old school, and were robed in 
flowing dressing-gowns and surmounted with pompous 

In exploring the streets — which are narrow and filthy, 
though sweeter than those of many a North-German 
town I — I was struck once more with the extraordinary 
jumble of wares exhibited in each store. Instead of one 
shopman reserving his energies for haberdashery, and 
another for confectionery, and so forth, you would come 
upon a goodly row of Turks, squatting hopefully on what 
is equally the floor and counter of their several shops, each 
of whom set up to supply his customers with turbans, 
coffee-cups, knives, boots, tobacco, carpets, Turkish de- 
light, gun -flints, water-melons, and amulets against warts ; 
so that it was rather confusing to decide which shop to 
go to if you wanted to suit yourself with anything, and 
you could not be certain of getting the best tobacco 
where you had observed the nattiest sandals ! Amongst 
the wares, wax, which is one of the principal articles of 
lk)snian export, formed an important item ; and besides 

on. in. A TURBANED SMITH. 119 

these miscellaneous stores there were others more exclu- 
sive, some of which were set apart for the sale of salt, ex- 
posed in massive cubes. But though there are prolific 
salt-springs not so very far off, at Dolnja Tuzla, towards 
the Serbian border, it must not be assumed that these 
were native products, for Bosnia prefers to import her 
salt from Galicia, Dalmatia, Sicily, and Wallachia. But 
the shop which most took my iancy was the blacksmith's ; 
it was quite irresistible to see a grimy old Turk in a ma- 
jestic head-piece — there is something comically incon- 
gruous between a turban and a sledge-hammer! — alter- 
nately working the beam of his bellows and hammering 
away on a primitive anvil, fixed into a rough section of 
oak trunk. 

While trying to make my way to the other side of 
the valley I found myself hemmed in by a variety of 
fences, which I was forced to surmount, and run the 
gauntlet through private orchards, with whose owners I 
happily avoided an encounter, and finally emerged with 
a whole skin on the Christian quarter, which lies east of 
the castle. The inhabitants here belonged to the Latin 
Church; but though the Eoman Catholic priesthood in 
Bosnia leans towards Croatia, and shrinks from Serbia with 
more horror than from Stamboul, yet these Latin women 
of Tesanj betrayed, perhaps unconsciously, their sister- 
hood with the heretics beyond the Drina. They were 
not coiffed Croat fashion, in a kerchief, like the peasants 
we had seen in the Bosnian Possavina, but their hair was 
plaited round a fez, a la belle Serbe, with flowers stuck 
in coquettishly on one side, and drooping gracefully 
about the ear. They displayed, too, the Serbian partiality 
for purple, and a maiden with a scarf crossed over the 



en. in. 

Latin nittidan of Tesjuij. 

bosom recalled the peasant girls about Belgrade. The 
rest of their dress — the double girdle, the twin aprons, 
the tunics with expanding sleeves — may be described as 
South Sclavonic. The men, though sur- 
mounted with turbans, differed usually 
from the Turks in wearing a white tunic 
in place of the gorgeous vest and jacket, 
and sliort flow^ing white trowsers instead 
of indigo bags. Those Christian men, 
however, who were more well to do, 
and inhabited the mercantile part of the 
town, were, like our landlord, in com- 
plete Turkish costume. 

As it was now near sunset a large 
assemblage of the neighbouring girls and 
housewives had gathered together at a 
spring to draw w^ater and gossip. I found them very 
friendly, except one old woman, between whom and my- 
self a most unfortunate disagreement arose. The cause 
of our tiff was that I — being, as the reader may have per- 
ceived, curious in pots and pans — so far trespassed on the 
old lady's forbearance as to attempt to pocket — not indeed 
that antique and ponderous utensil itself — but a sketch of 
the water-pot, which, after duly filling at the spring, she 
liad in just confidence laid down, the better to gossip 
with lier coevals. But cliancing to turn round, and see- 
ing the outline of her ' tikvo ' — for that was the name by 
which she knew it — transferred to my papCr, the old 
woman's fury knew no bounds ; and taking the law of 
copyright into her own hands, she snatclied up the out- 
raged vessel and soused a good portion of its contents 
over my j)erson. She then emptied out what few drops 



reinained — she would have none of your ' water be- 
witched ' ! — and hastily refilling her pot, left in a huff. It 
appears that she had taken me for a sorcerer, and had 
been piously desirous of exorcising the devil within me 
by a baptism of a rough and ready sort. Her motives 
may therefore have been honourable to her head and 
heart, though suc^h misconceptions are sometimes unplea- 
sant at the time. Meanwhile, here is the tikvo, and two 
otlier vessels which I succeeded in drawing without any 
enforced lustrations — one of a gourd-like shape, common 


rots from Tesanj. 

in Soutliern Europe ; the other a water-jug like a coffee- 
pot, of the tinned copper which in Bosnia greatly sup- 
plants earthenware. 

There is a sad side, too, to that episode of the old 
woman in the intense ignorance and concomitant super- 
stition which it reveals. In other parts of Eastern 
Europe I have met with just the same repugnance against 
allowing me to take representations of animate or even 
inanimate belongings. In Wallachia I once nearly felt a 
peasant's whip for attempting to sketch his horse. In 
other parts of Bosnia I have found natives who refused 
to allow me to sketch them, even when I offered them 
money if they would let me do so. I can only refer it 


to a wide-spread underlying belief in the Black Art, 
and especially that grim outgrowth of Fetishism which 
our old friend Thomas Ingoldsby places so vividly be- 
fore us in the ' Leech of Folkestone.' The almost 
universal use of amulets and talismans, of which more 
will be said later on, is but symptomatic of the same 
superstition, and its adoption by the rayahs is chiefly 
due to the same Oriental influences which are trace- 
able, in more ways than one, in their everyday life. 

While returning to our Han from the spring I witnessed 
a good instance of the way in which Mahometan ideas 
touching the seclusion of women have taken hold of 
the ray ah mind. 

As I was proceeding along a lane between some 
cottage enclosures, I happened to pass a Christian 
woman on the other side of the palings, and certainly 
on the wrong side of forty. So far was I from staring 
at her that I had hardly noticed her in passing, till 
she screamed after me, ' Hai' ti ! Hai' ti ! ' ' Quick ; be 
off! ' a usual expression of veiled Mahometan women in 
Bosnia if passed too closely on the road ; and on my 
looking round to see if anything was the matter, she re- 
peated these expressions with increased emphasis, and, 
rapidly raising her voice to cockatoo pitch, gave vent to 
the enquiry, which, though couched in not too courteous 
terms, few visitors to Bosnia remain long unacquainted 
with — Sto gUdas 1 ' What are you staring at ? ' The 
view was certainly not very attractive, and as she seemed 
inclined to follow up her remarks with some more practi- 
cal demonstration, and I myself was anything but desirous 
of crossing the path of a second Bosnian virago on the 
same afternoon, I beat a hasty retreat, venturing, how- 


' ever, to think that it would have been better if she had 
carried out her Oriental principles to their logical conclu- 
sion and veiled herself entirely. The rayah women of some 
parts of Bosnia — about Pristina, for example — actually 

go so far as to do this. I found that L had been 

faring worse than myself ; for in attempting to penetrate 
along another lane he was received in front and flank 
with such a volley of stones as repulsed him with loss. 

Next morning, hearing that the Kaimakam wished to 
see us before we proceeded on our way, we visited the 
Konak about seven ; but were obliged to waste nearly 
two hours of a time of day most valuable to pedestrians, 
waiting for the great man. While we were thus doomed 
to loaf, a very learned -looking EfFendi of the Kaimakam 's 
divan came up and solicited permission to look through 
our spectacles, exchanging the compliment by lending us 
his own, which we found to oiu* surprise to be made of 
plain window-glass, and even that, partly owing to dirt 
and partly to its inferior quality, was anything but crys- 
talline, and positively obscured the vision. But he pro- 
bably found them useful in impressing the Kaimakam 
with a due sense of his erudition, and he certainly suc- 
ceeded in focussing his subordinates with them most 
effectually. The worthy man's delight on looking through 
spectacles that really aided the sight was something 
childish, but we were not inclined to accept his overtures 
for a swap. 

At last the Kaimakam himself appeared, attired this 
time in a light w^hite suit of most correct cut. He was 
evidently a Turk of the new school, and showed a most 
intelligent interest in our map, which he understood 


perfectly, and pointed out on it the route of tlie new 
railway which has just been begun in Bosnia. 

He was all politeness ; but when we sketched out our 
projected mountain route to Travnik, and added more- 
over that we were going on foot, he betrayed such a 
desire to dissuade us from our purpose as convinced us 
that he had some misgivings as to our object in visiting 
the country, and that he more than half suspected us of 
being insurgent emissaries of some kind. When we ex- 
pressed our intention of making Comusina, a small Chris- 
tian village where there is a Franciscan monastery, our 
that day's destination, he began to urge all kinds of 
obstacles to our plan. There was no road — the country 
was impassable — we should not be able to procure any 
food, and it was impossible that we should ever find our 
way to Travnik by this route. Let him persuade us to 
go round by Zepse, and then follow the high road ; he 
would see that we were provided with a good araba (a 
Bosnian waggon) — or would we prefer horses ? 

We, however, remained firm, and our pass from the 
Vali being imperative, there was nothing for it but to let 
us have our way. . The game, as he thought, was played 
out ; and further concealment being useless, he dropped 
his objections witli admirable tact, and mentioned inci- 
dentally that we should come in for a large Cliristian 
gathering at Comusina — ' Ce que pent vous interesser.' 
He evidently believed himself that we knew all about the 
gathering already, and I do not blame his suspicions ; for 
the moment was far more critical than Ave had any idea 
of, and to the mind of even a liberal Turk our design of 
leaving the road and plunging into the mountains was, on 
any other liypothesis, sheer insanity — for anything that 


we might protest about the Enghsh passion for scenery 
and mountaineering. We afterwards discovered that in 
addition to the Zaptieh wliom he forced on us as guide 
and guard, another was despatched to Comusina with an 
express commission to observe our movements. 




Through the Forests of the Black-Mountain — The Flower of Illyria — A Mj'S- 
terious Fly — Enchanted Ground — The Fairy Mountain— Great Christian 
Pilgrimage — The Shrine on the Mountain-top — Christian Votaries in the 
Garb of li-lam — The Night-encampment — How the Turks dance — Ana- 
creontic Songs — An Epic Bard, Poetic Genius of Bostiiacs — Insolence of 
Turkish Soldiers and their Ill-treatment of the Rayahs — Types at the 
Fair — Aspect and Character of Men — Chefs-cVccuvre of Flint-knapping — 
Christian Graveyard and Monastery — Dismiss our Zaptieh — Night on 
Forest-mountain of Troghir— Wrecks by Wind and Lightning — Scene 
of Forest Fire — Timber Barricades — Summit of Vu6ia Planina — A Bon- 
vioant — Steep Descent — Night in a Hole — Almost impassable Gorge — 
Egyptian Rocks — Repulsed from a Moslem Village — Tombs of the 
Bogomiles — Arrive at Franciscan Monastery of Guciagora — Fears of a 
Massacre — Relations of Roman Catholics with the Turks — Austrian 
Influence in Bosnia — Aspirations of the Bosnian Monks. 

At last we made our escape from the Kaimakam, and, 
escorted by our new Zaptieh, began ascending the Crni 
Vrch,or Black-Mountain, named, like the Crnagora (Monte- 
negro), not from any blackness of the rock, but from 
being covered with dark forests, or simply from its savage 
wildness, ' black ' being with the Sclaves synonymous with 
everything harsh and fierce. About an hour and a 
quarter's ascent brought us to one of its summits, when 
we passed a Mahometan woman, who, though veiled, 
went through the absurd formality — common enougli 
among the Bosniac Mahometans — of squatting against 
the roadside with her back turned towards us till we had 
put a sufficiency of road between her and ourselves. 
Further on we came to a shed such as we had seen in the 


vale of Ussora, where we regaled ourselves with coffee, 
and a chubby kind of cucumber, which however our 
Zaptieh was the only one to fancy. 

Beyond here the scenery became wilder and indescri- 
bably beautiful. On one side rolled out beneath us the 
Possavina and the winding vale of Bosna, and far beyond 
the dim ranges of Slavonia ; on the other side rose the 
peaks and shoulders of Vlasic and Troghir and a tossing 
sea of low mountains, the nearer billows green with the 
line forest growth, into which we now plunged — and 
to quit the scorching sun of noon for woodlands still 
fresh with the dewy coolness of night is indeed to take 
an aerial bath ! The beeches amongst which we now 
steered our course, by a meandering forest-path, were no 
longer gnarled and stumpy, but tall and queenly, as 
those of an English park. Amongst them, here and 
there, towered isolated oaks, champions as it seemed of 
a lost fight, tough rugged old barbarians, battling every 
inch with those civilised victorious beeches — hemmed 
round but unyielding — heroic, taking every attitude of god- 
like struggle — here a manly, muscular Laocoon, wrestling 
with serpentine brambles and underwood, that insinuates 
itself among the knotted limbs — a mighty Hercules, up- 
lifted arm and club as to fell the hundred-hciaded Hydra 
. — or there sovereign Jove, the Thunderer himself, hurling 
— so the jagged branches interpreted themselves — forked 
lightning at the beechlings round ! But in vain. The oaks 
must be content to reign in plain and valley. On these 
uplands the beeches camp triumphantly, till higher still 
the pines repulse them from the mountain citadel, and in 
the great struggle for existence each tree finds its own 


But how soft the refrain from this deep bass of 
nature ! Pale, dreamy tufts of male and lady fern, delicately 
luminous in the forest- depths, Canterbury bells — for 
Enghsh pilgrims, what fitter accompaniment? — vibrating to 
the zephyrs in the orbs of sunlight ; brighter still, the ruby 
coronals of sweet-williams ; and, where it should be, among 
its native mountains, luxuriant gentian, drooping like 
Solomon's seal, weighed down as with elfin vases of lapis 
lazuli. This is the flower of Illyria, which, as Pliny tells 
us, took its name from her last king — that Gentius who 
ruled these lands in the days of Perseus of Macedon, and 
who first brought into credit the virtues of the herb 
which now alone preserves his memory. 

Now and then we emerge on a glade of breathing 
bracken — from the leafy orchestra round, the myriad 
chirp of tree-crickets, caught up below by blue and red 
winged brothers, who, in their glee, half skipping and half 
flying, seem amphibious of earth and heaven — a ' kingly ' 
minstrelsy, as beseeming the rank and beauty of the but- 
terfly dancers. Amongst the company we noticed a purple 
Emperor, Dukes of Burgundy, majestic swallow-tails, a 
cream-spotted tiger-moth — beauties of Camber well — not 
to speak of blues and lesser stars — marsh fritillaries and 
delicate wood- whites, hovering over damper hollows ; and 
in one dark watery dell ' edged with poplar pale,' a black 
and mysterious butterfly, which I am content to leave 
within the limits of the Unknown. It is not for me to 
enquire into the transformation of such sooty insects — nee 
^cirefas e^t! — for we are now treading enchanted ground 
— we are actually on the skirts of earthly fairyland. 
Yonder dark forest mountain, unfathomable as it seems, 
is called by a name which the Bosniac woodman still 


mentions with awe. It is nothing else than the Vila Gora 
— the fairy mountain. Yes! even within the limits of 
Europe the nymphs of the old w^orld have something 
more than twilight thickets for their mourning ; here at 
least they have still some sunny glades and laughing 
runnels left them for their merry-go-rounds. We are 
now in a land where the fairies live not only in the lays 
but the minds of men — and malicious sprites some of them 
are, sable as that mysterious fly ! As the peasant gropes 
his way through yonder haunted pine-wood, the trees 
begin to drip with grisly lichen, the trunks grow scarred, 
and sooty with storm and lightning, and a cloudy pall 
obscures the sun, and a sudden gust of wind rattles the 
bony limbs above — and lo ! across the gloomiest forest- 
crypt, lashing her coal-black stag with serpent scourge, 
shoots — the Evil Vila ! 

}3ut let us be chary of such ill-omened words ! and 
pass on rather to that flowery dell among the beech-trees 
where the good Vilas are dancing. In form they are as 
beautiful maidens with ever-loosened zones. Their eyes 
are blue as the heavens, and their hair, which falls even 
to their ankles, golden as the sunlight. Some are riding 
through the forest on wind-swift steeds. They are 
singing the fates of men ; they are weaving destinies ; 
they are watching with motherly tenderness over the 
slumbers of the heroes of the race, who, lapped in their 
bosoms, are dreaming on of better days in many a moun- 
tain cave, till the guardian nymph shall rouse each 
warrior from his sleep, to sunder for ever the chains of 
the oppressors. Me thinks they are waking even now ! 

Once or twice our ears were saluted with strange 
idyllic strains, harmonising with the scenery, and we 



passed by swineherds recumbent beneath spreading beech- 
trees, and piping to their bristly charge on barbaric instru- 
ments. We chose a shady chestnut-tree by a stream, under 
which to cook our frugal repast (for though nature was 
bountiful of blackberries we could not live on them), and 
while so engaged a shepherd lad came up and serenaded 
us with Bosnian airs on his rude double pipe or Svirala. 

We now followed a small tributary of the Ussora, and 
in its shallow bed made our first acquaintance with the 
mineral wealth of the country. It was a brilliant mosaic, 
a medley of vermeiled jasper, snow-white quartz, fragments 
of rich iron ore, glittering scales of mica, green serpen- 
tine ; and we picked up a beautiful piece of opaline chalce- 
dony, enwrapping a nest of little crystals in its agaty 
folds. The hamlet near the point where this rivulet runs 
into the Ussora is known as Zlatina, which means golden, 
and is a name commonly given throughout Bosnia to 
places where gold is popularly supposed to exist ; but 
though there are many old gold mines in different parts, 
and gold is still washed in some of the rivers, the ignorant 
peasants are said to mistake sulphur for it, or perhaps 
more probably the interior of iron-pyrites — our ' crow 
gold ' — so that the name itself proves nothing. 

Beyond here we forded the Ussora, and now began to 
fall in with long trains of Bosnian rayahs, a troop of small 
Bosnian horses laden with bales and human beings, all 
streaming in the same direction as ourselves. It was 
evening when we began to ascend a small wooded moun- 
tain, escorted by this motley troop; the women and 
children mostly on foot, the men usually on horseback, 
and with their bright red turbans — worn about here by 
even the poorest classes-r-forming a brilliant foreground 


to the surrounding foliage. We followed the current, 
and an hour's winding ascent brought us to the summit of 
a mountain, normally lonely, and devoid of habitation, but 
now thronged to overflowing by a gorgeous array of 
peasants from the uttermost recesses of Christian Bosnia, 
and some even from beyond the Serbian frontier. The 
summit of the mountain formed a long flat neck capacious 
enough to accommodate many thousands, and rising to its 
highest point towards its north-western extremity. As 
each detachment of peasants arrived they tethered their 
horses, and made straight to the summit of the ridge, 
which was surmounted by a rude shrine. This was the 
central point of the vast assemblage, and the reason of 
this great Christian gathering was soon explained. 

The Roman Catholic population of this part of Bosnia 
Iiad assembled from their mountain strongholds far and 
wide to do honour to two of their saints, known in their 
own parlance as Sveta Gospa and Sveta Katta — Our 
Lady and St. Catherine ; St. Mary the patroness of the old 
Bosnian kingdom, and St. Catherine the favoured Virgin 
Martyr of Bosnian Queens. To-morrow was the feast 
of the Miraculous Assumption, and the pilgrims had 
thronged to this Christian Delphos, the sacred navel of 
their land, in a great crisis of their national history, if 
not to consult saintly oracles, at least to obtain the 
support of their two tutelary goddesses. Though we 
realised it not at the time, we were on something more 
than the eve of a Romish feast. On the very day of this 
great pilgrimage, while these thousands were praying 
before their mountain shrine, a revolt was beginning in 
Bosnia, of which we have not yet seen the end, and 
which, for better or worse, must change her whole future. 

K 2 



CH. IT. 

This is what happened at the shrine. On arriving, 
each peasant bowed reverently before it, and executed 
certain mystic passes connected with his religion. He 
then made his way step by step round the outside of the 
shrine, moving, as they say, with the sun, from left to 
right ; and if he were particularly pious or particularly 
conscience-smitten, he stumped round on his knees. On 
the right or northern side of the shrine a priest standing 
within it held forth a gilt crucifix, which each passer-by 

Pilgrims at the Shrine, iiear Comusiuii. 

kissed ; and having performed the circuit of the exterior, 
each votary entered the shrine itself and completed his 
devotions before barbaric pictures of his divinities which 
were fiicing east — laying, it might be, on the altar a 
homely nosegay of rosemary and golden zinnias. Many 
devotees, after leaving the mysterious canopy, remained 
facing it outside, as represented in the sketch, on their 
knees, counting their beads or holding out their clenched 


•fists in a peculiar attitude, intended, perhaps, to represent 
.a cross. Some prayed very earnestly ; and indeed the oc- 
casion was no ordinary one. When each had finished, he 
left the immediate neighbourhood of the shrine and joined 
the multitude below, so that the grassy slope around the 
building, which was a rude wooden shed, was reserved 
for those actually performing their devotions. This 
sketch was drawn on the eve of the festival, when the 
shrine was less crowded. 

But what was most striking was the thoroughly Maho- 
metan appearance of so many of these Christian devotees. 
The influence of Islam seemed to have infected even their 
ritual ; for many grovelled on the ground and kissed the 
earth, as in a mosque. There was one man whom I should 
have mistaken for a Hadji or Turkish pilgrim ; there were 
others with the shaven crown of a true-believing Moslem, 
and the single pig-tail, so thoughtfully preserved by the 
Faithful to aid the Angel Gabriel in dragging them into 
Paradise. There were women with faces so nearly eclipsed 
that they seemed in fear of the injunctions of the Koran ; 
and- even the monks who had come up from the monastery 
of Comusina might be mistaken at a little distance for 
Turkish officials. There was something pathetic in the 
sight of so many Christians, dressed indeed in the garb of 
Mahometans, but still clinging to the faith of their fathers ! ^ 
Indeed, the whole scene was one which, though well-nigh 

^ This curious impress of Mahometanism on Bosnian Christianity may 
be illustrated by other facts. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem are undertaken by 
Christians almost as frequently as pilgrimages to Mecca by Mahometans. 
The performance of such is reckoned as honourable among the rayahs as 
among the Turks, and the Christian pilgrims assume the same title of Hadji. 
The Holy Sepulchre is often known by the name Tjaba, which is nothing 
but the Arabian Caaba \~See Eanke, < Die letzten Unruhen in Bosnien, 
1820-1832/ (in Bohn's translation, p. 314.) 


impossible to describe, no one who had seen it could ever 
forget, and in which even those who lament the super- 
stition must acknowledge some elements of grandeur 
and beauty ; — the solitary mountain-peak, momentarily 
thronged by pilgrims who in some childish yearning after 
heaven had pitched their place of worship here so as to be 
nearer their celestial goal — the votaries themselves — these 
poor peasants, brutalised by centuries of misrule, steeped 
in ignorance and bigotry, outcasts of this world rapt in 
silent communings (as they beheved) with another and a 
happier ; beneath them the primeval forest ; around in 
every direction an aerial gulf ; and beyond, far as the 
eye could pierce the deepening twilight, range upon range 
of lonely mountains. 

Not but w^hat these thrifty Bosniacs had turned the 
opportunity to account by combining with their religious 
festival and pilgrimage a large fair — or, as the Germans 
would say, a year-market — which occupied the other end 
of the mountain neck. A long lane was formed along 
which to arrange the wares, but the show was mostly 
reserved for thefesta itself on the morrow. On each side 
of this lane the peasants were camped in families ; and in 
the festivities of the night and the fair next morning we 
saw displayed before us, as in some brilliant picture-book, 
the whole life of the rayah country people from a large 
tract of Bosnia ; their varying costumes, their simple diet, 
their cheap necessities, their dances and discordant min- 
strelsy, and over all, the shadow of a Damoclean scimetar. 
As the night drew on the whole neck of the mountain 
was lit up by cheery bonfires, round which the peasants 
clustered in social cu'cles. Our Zaptieh provided us with 
blazing logs for ourselves, over which we performed our 



own culinary operations, supplemented by a generous 
haunch from a sheep, roasted in the usual Bosnian fashion. 
This is how the peasants cooked their meat — for on this 
high-day there were some who indulged in such a luxury 
as mutton. They took a sharp stake about eight feet 
long, and inserting it in the slaughtered animal's mouth or 
neck, skewered it right through the carcase and out at the 
tail. Two low forks were now driven into the ground, the 
huge spit with its burden was lodged on them, a large fire 
was kindled over against it, and the peasants took turn and 
turn about to make the spit go round. A goodly portion 
of the assemblage seemed determined to make a night of 
it, and what with carousing, dancing, singing, and playing, 
I will not deny that they succeeded. 

The first dance I saw was of a comic kind, performed 
by two men, and there were so many varying figures that 
one fancied they must improvise them as they went on. 
The accompaniment on a ghuzla, the one-stringed lute 
of the Serbs, was of the dolefullest, and the dance itself 
was anything but graceful. The chief object that they 
apparently had in view was to dislocate every hmb in 
the most comfortable way possible. Now and then they 
stamped on the ground, and then walked after each other 
and round each other in a clown-hke fashion ; and now 
and then they would pause and tread gingerly with 
their feet, as if they were trying whether ice would 
bear, fumbling the while in a stupid way about their 
noses, as if to see that spectacles were safely fixed on them. 
The Kolo, however, or round dance of the Sclaves, was 
more elegant, and chiefly danced by the girls, who formed 
themselves in a ring and danced round and round, some- 
times in a very spirited manner. 

136 HOW THE TURKS DANCE. ch. iv. 

The most monotonous of all the dances was that with 
which some Turkish officials, who had fixed their quarters 
at the further end of the mountain neck, solaced them- 
selves. Not that they danced themselves ! they were far 
too lazy and phlegmatic to do that ; but they impressed 
into their service a succession of rayah boys, who in turn 
danced long pas seuls before their lords and masters. 
Without leaving what we may call his pedestal, a boy 
kept treading the ground to the w^eary see-sawing music, 
and trying to make every muscle and limb quiver like a 
jelly. Then, after performing this operation for a good 
ten minutes, with his face towards his Turkish admirers, 
he slowly turned roimd on his pivot and danced — if such 
tremulous distortion could be called dancing ! — for an 
equal space of time, with his back to the spectators, and 
then he gradually swerved round again as if he were roast- 
ing before a slow fire, and was from time to time adjusted 
by a turnspit ! But the Turks, comfortably squatted on 
carpets strewn over the turf, gazed gravely on by the hour 
together, and seemed to enjoy the spectacle. 

We heard much playing of ghuzlas and double pipes 
and flutes, and much vocal accompaniment with lyric 
songs and long epic ballads. The instruments, with the 
exception of the ghuzla, were the same as the Croatian 
already described, and the ghuzla itself resembled a tam- 
buritza with three strings and bow in place of fingers ; but 
the playing on them struck me as slightly better than 
what we had heard at Siszek. The metre was as curious 
and as much a relic of an older world as the instruments 
whose Arcadian affinities have been already touched on. 
One of the many minstrels was enchanting an audience of 
Bosniac maidens with a lync, whose measure, unless mv 


ears deceived me, was identical witli that of Anacreon's 
song beginning, 

'AvaKpeav yepcov ei. 

And it was strange and impressive, with the air merry 
with tree-crickets from the foliage around, to catch, as it 
seemed, the cadence of that exquisite ode in which the 
Teian bard paid his homage to the same cicadas ! 

fiaKapi^ofiev ae T€Tti^, 
OTL bevdpfcov eV uKpcov 
oKiyrjv 8p6(rov Tre7r(OK(os, 
^aaiXeiis oncos deidf is. 

But the songs, though interesting, were not beautiful, 
and, to tell the truth, were often more like a succession of 
street-cries than any other sound, human or divine ! This 
was mainly owing to what was the chief peculiarity of the 
singing — the long stress, namely, laid by the voice on the 
last syllable or the last trochee, insomuch that success in 
a singer seemed to lie in the ability of keeping on at the 
concluding howl longer than his fellows. 

One asks oneself with amazement how such dolorous 
chaunts could possibly have originated ? Was it possibly 
the dire necessity of droning in concert with a bag pipe ? 
The ' dudelsack * — pitilessly expressive word ! — is not un- 
known in Bosnia at this day, and was certainly as much 
the property of the primitive Sclave as of the primitive 
Englishman. Doubtless, too, e^rly singing is pinched and 
crippled and distorted by the rudeness of early instru- 
ments. I did not see a bagpipe here, but traced its evil 
communications everywhere. It seemed to have corrupted 
all the other instruments. They had caught it. It had 
got into their throats hke a fog, and given a twang to every 

138 AN EPIC BARD. ch. tv. 

chord. It was a positive nightmare of bagpipes. There 
was a bagpipe in the flute, and a bagpipe in the lute, 
and a bagpipe even in the whistle ! 

The singing, at any rate, reacts on the poetry ; for the 
long expenditure of breath renders a pause a physical 
necessity for the recovery of wind at the end of every 
two hnes, so that the lays were generally divided into 
(couplets. Much that looks Procrustean, and many ap- 
parently capricious full- stops in classic metres might, one 
would think, be referred to similar causes. Nearly a 
minute would sometimes elapse after one couplet before 
the singer had recovered breath to continue. 

But what carried one back into epic days at once 
was a larger gathering, forming a spacious ring lit up by 
a blazing fire, in the middle of which a Bosniac bard 
took his seat on a rough log, and tuning his ghuzla be- 
gan to pour forth one of the grand sagas of his race. 
Could it have been an unpremeditated lay ? Without a 
book or any aid to memory he rolled out the ballad for 
hour after hour, and when I turned to rest, not long before 
sunrise, he was still rhapsodising. I do not pretend to 
know what was the burthen of the ballad. Perchance it 
recorded the enchantments of the Vila in yonder forest- 
mountain ; perchance it told how Czar Dushan marched 
to seize the city of the Caesars ; or of the finding of Knez 
Lazar and the sad day of KcSssovo ; or, mayhap it belonged 
to that later cycle of Serbian poetry which centres round 
the half-hero, half-renegade, Marko Kraljevic.^ For in 
this land, without books, without history, it is these heroic 
lays — Tabories they call them, from Tavor, their God of 

* For the story of Marko Krftljevic or ' Kings' son Marko,' and the Cycles 
of Serbian poetry, see * The Slavonic Provinces of Turkey in Europe,' by 
a. Muir Mackenzie and A. V. Irby, p. 87 ^ &c. 


War — that keep alive from generation to generation the 
sacred traditions of the race. In the days of bondage 
these have been the one proud heirloom of the Serbian 
people from the Adriatic to the Danube. Their spirit has 
been continually refreshed from the perennial fount of 
epic song. Separated by creed and the barriers of nature, 
and the caprice of man, it is this national poetry that lias 
kept them from forgetting that they are brothers, that 
has turned their mind's eye back from the divisions of the 
present to the union of the past, and has fed their ambi- 
tion with the memories of a time when one of their princes 
seemed about to catch up the falling diadem of Byzantium 
and place it on his brow. For the Bosnian Serb seems to 
forget the narrower traditions of his half alien kingdom 
in tliese more glorious legends, which override the cant 
of geographers and diplomatists, and make him see a 
brother in the Serb of the Black Mountain or Old Serbia, 
or the free Principality ; and, indeed, he too has some 
claims to share these memories, for the city of the Serbian 
Cficsars, Prizren the Czarigrad, lies within the Bosnian limits. 
Doleful, then, as these strains may seem to a civilised 
ears, it ill becomes the stranger to mock at them. Over 
those rude men they seemed to exercise a kind of charm. 
The hearers of the bard to whom I was listening seemed 
never to grow weary. Every now and then an ecstatic 
thrill would run through the whole circle, and find utter- 
ance in inarticulate murmurs of delight. So carried away 
are the emotions of the listeners, that it is by no means 
rare — though I did not witness this — for them to be 
moved to tears. ' I cannot describe,' says an observer/ 

^ Wessely, quoted in Introduction to ' Servian Popular Poetry,' trans- 
lated by Sir John Bowrinji. 


' the pathos with which these songs are sometimes sung. 
I have witnessed crowds surrounding a blind old diiger, 
and every cheek was wet with tears ; it was not the music, 
but the words, which affected them.' For these songs 
speak to the heart. They are instinct with that natural 
simplicity which is the very soul of pathos. True, there 
is lacking something of the tremendous energy of our old 
Teutonic sagas. There is less sword-play ; but there is 
more poetry. We should never expect to find an Anglo- 
Saxon gleeman of our epic days likening, as does one of 
these unlettered Bosnian bards, the cheeks of the loved 
one to the flush of dawn and her eyelids to the silken 
wings of swallows. This airiness of phantasy, the brilliance 
of the imageiy, seem to witness the close communion of 
the race with the Oriental world around them ; but there 
is a national sobriety ever bridhng the imagination, just 
as we have seen the Oriental gorgeousness of a Serbian 
lady's dress tempered with something of the homely 
Serbian house-mother. But what, perhaps, is more striking 
than all, is to find the rude simplicity of Homer combined 
with a dramatic force more characteristic of the age of 
Euripides.^ Surely in such spring flowers — and wintry 
indeed has been the spring of this poor Bosnian stem ! — 
is to be found the best proof that the stock is not all 
cankered, and the surest earnest of fruits to ripen yet. In 
a poetry that has received the reverent homage of Goethe 
it cannot be fanciful to see a token that the race is capable 
of attaining to the highest pinnacles of civilisation. It 
can hardly be unreasonable to seek here for a retort 

* Let any English reader vrho thinks these encomiums overdrawn procure 
the faithful and beautiful translations of Sir John Bowring, cited above, and 
jtidge for himself. 


against those who speak of the South Sr^lavonic rayah as an 
utterly degraded being, and wlio cannot discern that 

lie still retains, 
'Mid much abasement, what he has received 
From Nature — an intense and glowing mind. 

It is unfortunate that I am unable to conclude the 
account of this — to me — uniquely interesting night with 
the mention of songs and ballads, and that more must be 
added which it is most displeasing to relate. 

It is only just to say that, taking into consideration the 
troubles in the Herzegovina, and — what may have been 
traceable in the hurried calling-out of the reserve at 
Dervent and Tesanj — the possible foreknowledge of the 
imminence of an outbreak in Bosnia, it was quite natural 
for the Turkish authorities to view with suspicion an 
assemblage of several thousand Christian Bosniacs, and 
even to take precautionary measures against any disturb- 
ances — or conspiracy. No one can therefore blame the 
Ka'imakam of Tesanj for despatching some officials and a 
retinue of gendarmes to watch the proceedings. This 
night the Turks had taken their" station at the end of the 
neck of the hill, as if the better to ward off any possible 
attack, and to secure a line of retreat if necessary. The 
presence of these Zaptiehs gave me an opportunity of 
observing how these tools of the Mahometan government 
dealt with the Christian Bosniacs, when not under the 
immediate surveillance of foreign consuls. Briefly, they 
treated them like a herd of cattle ; and it is hard to say 
which was the more revolting, the intolerable insolence or 
the downright cruelty. 

I was standing in one of the circles where a Bosnian 
gleeman was rehearsing a national epic, when the spell 


of the song was rudely broken by a Zaptieh, who, bursting 
through the ring of listeners and thrusting the rayahs to 
right and left, stood before the embers in the middle, and, 
playing with his cutlass with one hand, demanded, in 
such a savage tone as quite infuriated me, who would 
light his pipe. The Bosniacs took it more calmly. The 
old minstrel laid down his lute and paused for awhile in 
his lay. For a few moments there was a moody silence — 
as if some blunted sense of injury had outlived long use 
of wrongs — then a fine man stepped forward sheepishly 
and lit the bully's pipe. 

Another time a knot of peasants were gathered together 
in friendly converse in the grassy middle-lane, when two 
Zaptiehs rushed forward with whips, and flogged them 
away, women as well as men ! But the worst instance of 
brutality that came within my observation took place while 
I was discussing a bottle of Slavonian wine, and exchang- 
ing English songs for Bosnian, with a merry group of 
rayahs, belonging mostly to the Greek Church, ' Serbs,' as 
they proudly called themselves, who had come to take 
part in the fair and festa of their Eoman Catholic rivals. 
Of a sudden our festivities were broken in upon by the 
soimdsof a scuffle behind, accompanied by such shrieks as 
made me start up, and the firelight fell on a gendarme — 
the same, I think, who had interrupted the minstrelsy — 
who, with a stick or some kind of weapon, was beating an 
old Christian man as if he were a pig, and kicking the 
poor cringing wretch the while till he howled for mercy. 
I was stepping forward to interpose, but two Bosniacs 
cluU^hed hold of me and held me back, whispering with 
more covered hatred than can be described, ' 'Tis only the 
Turks ! ' The Zaptieh, however, not wishing to provokQ 


Frankisli intervention, desisted from his belabouring, and 
left his victim to limp away as best he might. The group 
of ' Serbs ' had. not shown any sign of attempting a rescue, 
but I saw more than one brow knit ominously for the 
moment. But the visible emotion w^as transient, and their 
faces relapsed into that impassive stolidity which is the 
normal expression of the Bosnian ray ah. 

It has been already observed that a Zaptieh had been 
told off with the express commission of observing our 
motions, and it was a continual annoyance to find a gen- 
darme ever dogging at our heels. But it was obviously 
disagreeable to the Turks that I should be about at all ; 
and as the night advanced our detective began to find 
the duties of espionage somewhat wearisome, and appears 
to have put our own Zaptieh, with whom I noticed him 
confabulating, up to bidding me retire to rest, as if he 
were rather commander than escort. This he did to my 
no small astonishment, while I was hstening to one of 
the ballads, and was sent roundly about his business 
for his pains, to the unconcealed delight of the Christians, 
who from that moment dubbed us Consuls — a name given 
by the Bosniacs to any Europeans who are not subject to 
the caprices of Turkish gendarmes ; for they argue that no 
one less than a foreign representative would dare to lift 
a finger against these creatures of their tyrants. 

But at last, though the epic still rolled on — some- 
times these rhapsodies continue with intervals for days at 
a time ! — and though the interest of the audience flagged 
not, I thought it time to follow the example set hours 

before by L , who was somewhat footsore, and to lie 

down beside our fire. And if anyone fancies that our 
mountain lair was altos^ether a bed of roses, he is mis- 

144 NOT A BED OF ROSES. en. iv. 

taken, for the night was \ery cold, and we were always 
being partly scorched and partly frozen ; and as the ground 
was anything but even, falling asleep was rather a doubt- 
ful advantage, since we were pretty sure to roll either into 
the embers on one side, or down the steep on the other ; 
and if neither of these casualties befel us 'twas odds that 
we started up with a most corporeal and hoofy nightmare 
upon us, and discovered that one of the Arab horses, 
which encompassed us round about, had mistaken our 
blanket bags for fodder, and was proceeding to act upon 
that assumption. 

But it begins to dawn, the vast camp is astir, a subtle 
aroma of coffee pervades our waking senses, and a new 
day breaks forth, wondrously fair to look upon, but to 
Bosnia pregnant with bloodshed and misery. 

Yet there is no sign of trouble here. New arrivals 
are perpetually swelling the festal gathering and crowd- 
ing round tlie shrine It was a brilHant scene, Avhich 
no words can convey ; but the reader will permit me 
to introduce the characteristic group seated on yonder 

The man to the right, in a red turban and a dark 
indigo jacket, is a fair example of the Bosniac rayah of. 
these parts, and indeed his dress is mucli the same 
throughout the country. He wears a loose white linen 
tunic and trowsers, which latter are confined about the 
calf in this instance, though they are often loose and flow- 
ing, as among the Croats. His feet are sandalled in the 
never-failing Opankas^ which seem common to all the 
southern Sclaves, and may not improbably be the same foot- 
covering as that mentioned by Constantine Porphyron 
genitus. The Byzantine Emperor says that the Eomanj 




called the boots of the Serbli (or Serbs) Serbula, and 
Serbiilianos all those who were poorly booted ; and indeed, 
if these are the sandals alluded to, it must be confessed 
that the Byzantine contempt for them as boots was merited, 
for experience has taught me that the straps easily break, 
and that the soles are worn through in no time. 

The woman seated on the middle of the trunk is 
representative of the ordinary Latin peasants hereabouts, 


Types at the Fair. 

the red border of her jacket being probably an ensign of 
her Catholicism as near Dervent. The rest of the jacket 
is black, contrasting with the clean white tunic below ; 
but the general effect would be funereal were it not for 
her apron, which is of as divers colours as Joseph's coat, 
and displays those diamond patterns so much affected 
by the peasants near Belgrade. The twin brooches 
on her belt may remind the antiquary of those worn 

146 HUNNISH PROFILES. ch. iv. 

by our Anglo-Saxon great-grandmothers, or of such scs 
are exhumed from old Serbian graves, and the silver 
work of her ear-rings is doubtless an inheritance from 

The standing figure to her left belongs to a very 
curious t3^e both of feature and costume. This was the 
first occasion on which we came upon a dress the affini- 
ties of w^hich were other than Serbian or Croatian. The 
multitude of decoration is overpowering. She is studded 
with Turkish coins as with a cuirass of scale armour, her 
arms loaded with bracelets, and her fingers with rings ; 
ornamental patterns are crowded over her jacket and 
apron, — a gorgeous orange being the pervading colour. 
Her hair was spangled with coins in a way which we 
afterwards saw repeated among the unveiled Mahometan 
women of the Narenta valley. There was a certain heavi- 
ness about the dress which contrasted with the lighter 
costumes around ; it belonged to the general class of 
Bosnian costume extending west and south towards 
Dalmatia and the Herzegovinian frontier. Its nuances 
are decidedly Dalmatian. As we crossed the mountains 
towards Travnik we came upon more specimens of this 
type ; and in the gorges of Troghir and Mazulia were 
again struck by the curious stamp of features, which in 
these mountains seems always to accompany this peculiar 
attire. The broad face and flat nose suggest quite a 
different parentage, and I noticed brothers and husbands 
who showed that the peculiarity was not confined to one 
sex. I remember one man in particular with nose so 
cunously flattened that one was almost tempted to believe 
that his profile had been deformed by a bandage drawn 
tightly across the face in childhood, after the old Hunnish 


fashion, and went on to speculate whether some of the 
followers of Attila, or perchance some of those Tartars 
who flooded Bosnia in the thirteenth century, might 
not have been caught in these mountain basins. But this 
much is certain, that at the present day these gorgeous 
barbarians speak Bosniac like their neighbours. 

To the left of our Hunnish friend sits a woman in the 
most civihzed costume of Christian Bosnia, and which, 
with peculiarities of its own, is eminently Serbian, of the 
Danube, and will recall the maiden of Tesanj. Here, 
however, besides the hair plaited round a tasselled fez, 
and the scarf crossed X-wise over the bosom, is the 
expanding skirt and the fur-bordered jacket, such as the 
ladies of Belgrade delight in wearing. 

Some of the girls have decked their hair with zinnias 
and even sunflowers. The quantity of false coral and 
bead necklaces worn is overpowering, as is the endless 
variety of modes in which the white and red kerchiefs 
that drape the heads are set. Sometimes it was arranged 
not unlike the coiffure of the last queen of Bosnia, as 
she appears on her monumental slab. Sometimes, as has 
been already noticed, it threatened to conceal the face 
entirely, and some of these half Mahometans were to be 
seen with the ' bags ' reaching to their ankles, a la belle 
Turque. One girl was arrayed as a bride — in hly white, 
except the flowers in her hair, which just peeped forth 
from beneath a kerchief-veil, woven of the lightest 
texture of the country, and falling airily about her 
person, fringed with simple lace. 

But another maiden demands my presence, and I am 
called away to sketch, at her own request, a Bosnian belle, 

L 2 



en. lY. 

coiffed in the briglitest of rosy kerchiefs, enveloped in 
a jacket with the most gorgeous golden border, and 
cinctured with a sash of orange and purple. Whether 
the attitude in which she sat for her portrait was 
the most elegant she could have chosen, and whether 
her boots, in which I fancy she took a peculiar pride, 
were of that form most adapted for displaying maidenly 

gracility of ankle, may be left for a forbearing public to 

Her hair is dark — and who so ungallant as to suggest 
that its hue is due to artificial causes ? Granted that a 
powder does exist called Kna ; let it freely be admitted that 
the fair Serbs often show themselves as desirous as the 
ladies of the harem to acquire those raven tresses which 
the Koran distinguishes as a sign of comeliness and 


strength. But a glance — a scintillation — from those eyes 
would annihilate any detractor so mean as to bring such 
imputations against our Bosniac beauty ! Here at once, so 
to speak, we are on terra firma. These at least are incap- 
able of assuming an un-genuine hue ; and they are blacky 
— black as the sloes with which the national poets delight 
to compare their mistresses' orbs, and haloed round with 
such dark lashes and eyebrows as the same Serbian imagi- 
nation fondly likens to ' leeches from the fountain.' But 
she was rather the exception in the crowd, and the evident 
esteem in which her good looks were held was probably 
more due to this accident of hue than anything else ; for 
if at times the tresses of her artless village rivals happened 
on the fashionable colour, their eyes were oftener of a 
traitorous turquoise than of jet ; and as to the little 
children, their hair was of a tell-tale flaxen ! Nay, it is to 
be feared that if our damsel was on the look out for a 
black-eyed sweetheart to match her, she would find some 
difficulty in realizing her hopes, since the men's eyes 
were generally of greys or watery blues, and their lanky 
locks took an unfortunately reddish hue of brown ; and 
even supposing her pockets to have been as full of gold, 
she was hkely to fall as far short of her ideal as the 
maiden of Serbian poetry, who sings : — 

I wish the happy time were nigh, 
When youths are sold, that I might buy. 
But for an azure-eyed Milinar,^ 
1 would not give a single dinar, 
Though for a raven-black eyed youth, 
A thousand golden coins in truth. 
Alas ! alas ! and is it true ? 
My own fair youth has eyes of blue ! ^ 

' Miller. 

^ * Servian Popular Poetry,' translated by J. Bowring, p. 219. 


The women looked as a rule pleasanter than the 
men, whose general appearance, as may perhaps be 
gathered from the illustration, is anything but prepos- 
sessing. The whole crown is shorn of hair, Turkish 
fashion, but usually, instead of the single pig-tail of the 
faithful, two long elf-locks are left dangling from the 
back of the head, and the effect of the bare occiput with 
these two sickly appendages is little short of disgusting ; 
add to which that the natural length of the neck is ex- 
aggerated by this tonsure. From the front the aspect 
is not more pleasing ; the bald pate, combined with the 
bony attenuated face and round eyebrows, being often in 
a ghastly manner suggestive of a death's-head. The long 
sunken eye-slits, whose outer corners curve down, so as to 
follow the lines of the brow-arches, give them an air of 
sleepy cunning, the eyebrows often overhanging as to 
form a den for the suspicious roving eyes. The lips are 
thick, broad, and pouting. The whole face seems dazed, 
and it is almost beyond mortal patience to see the heavy, 
slow, owlish way in which their head turns on its axis if 
anything attracts their attention. When you look at them 
they always seem as if they do not know what expression 
is expected of them, and their stolidity is enhanced by 
turbans which make them look top-heavy. It is easy to 
understand why the quick-witted Greeks of the lower 
Empire should have nick-named the Sclaves Chondro- 
kephaloi, or ' block-heads.' 

Yet, after all, the hideous tonsure and what is vilest 
in their demeanour are but accidental badges of servitude 
and oj)pression — removable by a few generations of free 
government. The sluggishness of their deliberation may 
be quickened by culture ; and, the causes of suspicion 


once removed, the hang-dog look of the Bosniac would 
disappear as surely as it lias ceased among the free Ser- 
bians, and as it is disappearing at this day among the 
liberated Wallachian serfs. The slow, measured utterance 
of the race, so far from being a proof of inferiority, has 
been compared by Ami Boue to that of EngHshmen, 
and this keen observer of the Serbs speaks of the people 
and language as born, if any ever were, for parliamentary 

The frame of these Bosniac countrymen lacks the 
elegance and suppleness of the modern Greek, but it is 
stronger and of larger mould. No stranger who passes 
through Bosnia can fail to be struck at the exceeding 
stature of the inhabitants. The fair here is thronged 
with men six feet high, and over. An Enghsh traveller 
who passed through this country in 1634, and stayed a 
day or two in ' Saraih,' ' the metropohs of the kingdome 
of Bosnah,' says, ' the most notable things I found was 
the goodnesse of the water, and vaste, almost gyant-like 
stature of the men, which with their bordring upon 
Germany^ made mee suppose them to be the offspring of 
those old Germans noted by Ccesar and Tacitus for their 
huge size, which in other places is now degenerate into 
the ordinary proportions of men.' ^ Gaunt they may be, 
lean and overgrown; but they are sons of Anak; and 
though they may now seem a cowering rabble, the 

^ ' A Voyage into the Levant. A Briefe Relation of a lourney lately 
performed by Master Henry Blunt, Gentleman, from England by the way of 
Venice into Dahnatia, Sclavonia, Bosnah, Hungary, Macedonia, TJiessaly, 
Thrace, Rhodes, and Egypt, unto Gran Cairo.'' The Third Edition, London: 
1638 ; p. 8. The giant size of the Bosniacs also struck the Bolognese doctor 
J. Bapt. Montalbaus who visited Bosnia in the 16th century, v. Beruni 
Turcarum Commentarius, — Bosnce Begnmn. 


example of their self-liberated brothers in Montenegro 
and free Serbia should teach the world that in happier 
circumstances they too might hold up their heads and dis- 
play the spirit of heroes. Even in their featiures, in their 
broad benevolent forehead and aquiline nose, are disguised 
the lineaments of grandeur and manly beauty. Despite 
the ill-favour of their expression, there was generally a 
lurking geniality to be detected in it, and when among 
themselves I was struck with their kindly manners and 
good-fellowship ; indeed I suspect that it is generally the 
stranger's own fault — probably his want of tact in posing 
before them as the friend of the Turk — if they do not 
show themselves friendly to him, and relapse into a 
bearish reserve. And though the Bosniacs are much 
accused of that common failing of the Southern Sclaves, 
intoxication, yet it must be said to their credit that in 
this large gathering — so large that hardly a spot of stand- 
ing ground was left unoccupied in the whole mountain 
neck — we did not notice a single case of drunkenness, 
and this though there were plenty of booths in the fair 
for the sale of arrack and Slavonian wine. Indeed the 
general orderliness, the absence of license of any sort, 
among the Christian part of the assembly, was beyond all 

As to the fair the display of wares was poor enough, 
there being little exposed for sale beyond the usual 
crockery, and the cheapest and most gimcrack jewelry, 
brass rings, and brooches of the very worst Bosniac fabric, 
and here and there a little fruit — water-melons, and small 
plums and pears. The only articles wortli mentioning 
were the scpiaiv, elegantly chipped jiiin llints, of a kind 
which is to be found hi all Bosnian markets. These are 




k I a d at Avlona, in Albania, near the old Acro- 
ceraunian promontory, from about which the flints are 
gathered ; and they are interesting, as being probably the 
most perfect representatives in modern Europe of an art 
which was once the his^hest among mankind. Our Norfolk 
fiint-knappers, who still export this old-world article of 
commerce to the savages of Africa, could never compete 
with the artists who turn out 
these chefs-d'oeuvre of delicate 
flaking ! 

About 1 P.M. we started on 
our mountain-crossing expedition 
towards Travnik ; first descend- 
ing from our altitude towards the 
Franciscan monastery of Comu- 
sina, which we found to consist 
of an unpretending house and a 
bare, pewless church standing in 
the middle of a wretched little 
village. The door of the monas- 
tery was fastened, and a woman who parleyed with us 
from an upper window said that all the ' brotliers ' were 
up at the shrine. On our way we had passed through the 
Christian cemetery — a wilderness so deep in bracken that 
it seemed to have been purposely left to the charitable 
clothing of Nature, as if they feared that even their graves, 
if seen, might be insulted by the passing Zaptieh. The 
memorials here were rude stones, sometimes scarcely 
touched by art, sometimes rudely graven with a Latin 
cross Hke one of the ' Hadjuks' graves ' already described. 
But we groped among the fern-leaves in vain for an in- 

Gun- Flint. 

154 *THE major/ 

CH. IV. 

Beyond this we descended by a path to the Ussora, 
and finding that our attendant Zaptieh's scansorial powers 
were small, and that, not having on his shoulders a heavy 
knapsack like ourselves, he was yet inclined to lag hope- 
lessly, there was nothing for it but to dismiss him, after 
first inditing under a walnut-tree beside the waters of 
Ussora a letter in our choicest French to the Kaimakam, 
in which we gave our escort a good character, only ex- 
pressing our regret that his inability to climb mountains 
a VAnglaise deprived us of the further pleasure of his 
company. We afterwards had reason to regret that 
besides the backshish or largess which was his due we 
gave him too large a proportion of our remaining store of 
bread, not sufficiently realising the slow progress which we 
should make between this and Travnik. 

We now followed the river bed, every now and then 
wading from one side to the other of the shallow stream 
in a vain search for a forest-path which should lead in the 
right direction. We found Major Eoskievic's^ map so 
completely out, that we really suspected that he had been 
the victim of the Vila's enchantments — and who, conver- 
sant with the history of the building of Scodra, does not 
know that it is her practice to thwart engineers who pre- 
sumptuously invade her precincts ? And I would urge in 
proof of this hypothesis that her sacred mount, the Vila 
Gora of the peasants hereabouts, under whose brows we 
are now passing, is conspicuous by its absence on the 

* An officer of the general staff who was employed by the Austrian 
Government to draw up a map of Bosnia, and followed this up by his 
' Studien iiber Bosnien und die Herzegovina/ partly an itineraiy, partly a 
statistical accomit, but mengre and disappointing. Franz Maurer, 'Reise 
durch Bosnien/ is equally loud in his denunciations of the Major's map. 


Major's chart. Before we had concluded our itinerary of 
Bosnia we had further proofs that the Vila or some other 
freakish sprite had possessed that unfortunate officer. 
Often has the Major played the part of a will-o'-the-wisp 
for our especial misguidance ! At times he would display 
such extraordinary capacities of faith as to remove moun- 
tains. He would evolve streams which existed not, out 
of his inner consciousness, and when he conceived that 
this pleasantry had gone far enough he would swallow 
them up in the earth. He would transport villages bodily. 
He would run a broad valley through a mountain mass 
from which Xerxes would have recoiled, and bridge over 
chasms at which Stephenson would have shuddered. Not 
that his humour is always of this ponderous turn ; oh 
no ! he has his lighter veins, too, in which he will draw 
you a zigzagging road straight as a line, or pop the 
only path on the wrong side of the stream ! 

At about 5 P.M. we found ourselves at the junction 
of the Ziraja and the Blatnica, as we learnt from some 
peasants — -for they never meet according to the Major. 
The peasants, who were dressed in the heavily ornamented 
quasi-Dalmatian costume of these mountains, and were of 
the type which it has pleased me to call Hunnish, were 
much delighted at a present of English needles from the 
' consuls,' 

We now began ascending the Troghir Planina by a • 
faintly indicated woodman's path, overshadowed by a 
beech-forest of finer growth than any we had yet seen, 
interspersed with equally majestic pines. Amongst these 
mysterious labyrinths we lost our path, and coming 
towards dusk on an inviting glade commanding a lovely 


mountain panorama, pitched on it as our place of bivouac 
for the night. Here we found no difficulty in collecting 
firewood for a cheery lire, and bracken enough to form a 
springy mattress ; and having cooked our frugal supper, 
we submitted to be lulled to sleep by the chorus of 
tree-crickets above. The night was again fine ; so that, 
except for the cold, which in the small hours of the 
morning was bitter — as it generally is when the camp 
fire has burnt down beyond recovery ! — we passed a 
fairly comfortable night, till we were aroused by the 
droning of gnats in our ears, and were again on our 
way, before the sun. 

But now we began to be beset by a difficulty which 
while in the forest zone of the mountains we had not 
anticipated — namely, the absence of water, caused by the 
porous character of the limestone rock ; and though we 
succeeded in finding our path again, all the runnels we 
passed were dried by summer drought. The woods were 
very silent, and there was no morning song of birds beyond 
the cooing of a dove ; but while we were resting we heard 
a deep musical hum among the tree-tops, proceeding from 
myriads of gnats, some of which were droning below. We 
kept gradually ascending the back of the Planina, our patli 
continually disappearing or losing itself in a maze of lesser 
tracks, which might have been made as much by animals 
as by man ; and every now and then we had to scramble on 
as best we could over tree-trunks of monstrous girth that 
barred our path. But still no water to make breakfast 
palatable ! till about two hours after starting we came to 
a stagnant pool or puddle about the size of an ordinary 
washing-bashi, which, as necessity knows no law, we were^ 


driven to make use of, and to pick the tadpoles out of our 
tea as best we might ! 

But how describe this forest scenery ! how paint, so 
that others may see as we saw them, the golden rays of 
the rising sun slanting between the leafy tiers of the 
beeches, intersecting their shady trunks with pillars of 
light, shimmering beyond against the dark mountain flank ; 
not dappling it in round noon-day patches, but streaking 
it horizontally with golden ripples, comparable to nothing 
but mackerel clouds glorified by the sunset, trailing across 
some darker tract of sky. Now and then the mighty 
trunks and branches frame vistas of mountain and valley, 
flooded still by a forest sea unflecked by habitation — an 
enamel of quiet blue. Then the luminous foliage of the 
beeches gives place for a while to more sombre pines, 
whose turpentiny fragrance floats like morning incense 
down the forest aisles. Hour after hour, as we ascend, the 
forest still looms around us, but the scenery is perpetually 

At one point we reached a mountain bluff* more open 
to the wind, and found ourselves in a clearing not made 
by man. From the rocky summit an awful scene of ruin 
burst upon us. That soft blue heaven — azure and cloudless 
as a tranquil sea — it, too, has its storms and windy Scyllas 
to play havoc among these aerial masts. This was one 
universal wreck — the wreck of an Armada. Far and wide 
every tree had been struck down like Canaanitic walls. 
The very current of the tornado was marked by the lie of 
the prostrate trunks. At times a confused medley — piles 
of scarce distinguishable spars and giant hulks — ^jumbled 
together as if they had been nine-pins ! — showed the eddy 
of a whirlwind ; but generally the trunks were strewn 



CH. IV. 

pointing from the north-east hke so many magnets : one 
vast torrent track of destruction marking the course of the 
Bora^ the irresistible storm- wind of Illyria. In places we 

have found the periodic 
force of this wind utilized 
by the Bosniacs, who cut 
the trees a quarter through 
on the leeward side and 
leave the rest to the wood- 
craft of Boreas. 

But once more we 
plunge into the primeval 
shadows to find ourselves 
among more isolated monu- 
ments of ruin. Here it is 
the artillery of heaven that 
has been playing on the 
masted swell of. the green 
Planina. Now w^e have 
reached the very focus of 
an electric storm. The 
trunks of beech and fir 
sometimes riven asunder, 
more generally erect but decapitated, stripped of bark and 
branches ; sometimes shattered columns charred by the 
aerial explosion, sometimes splintered up into trophies of 
white spears. Here is one of the most striking witnesses 
to the stupendous power of lightning that I have ever 
seen. A beech about eighty feet in height was snapped 
in two, the upper part hurled on to the slope below% the 
lower still rooted to tlie ground, but the hard wood 
splashed by the thundeier's bolt — as when a bomb-shell 

Tree struck by Lightning. 


strikes the sea — into gigantic splinters : keen, shapely 
blades, as much as twenty feet in length.^ 

Then, again, we passed through a region of pines, 
grim, time-stained — scarred and bereft of limbs in many 
a battle with the elements — with bare long arms and 
patriarchal beards of hoary lichen ; an older generation of 
trees, w^aiting in vain for kindly axe or levelling blast ; 
and awakening, in their Arctic desolation, memories of a 
Lapland forest-scene. And now once more a charming 
transformation takes place. Cheerful beech avenues again 
overarch us, or open out in sunny glades, where butter- 
flies — commas, whites, clouded yellows — are fluttering 
and settling about yellow salvias and a flower which looked 
like a rosy phlox with a single blossom. Now we found, 
to our great relief, an icy-cold stream, and prepared our 
noon-day repast in a beechwood glen that carried us back 
to the chalk hills of old England. Here we recognized 
around us those old familiar ferns, the prickly and the 
maiden-hair^ — polypody, flouncing the old stumps with 
charitable raiment — rarer tufts of blechnum ; and, prying 
curiously among the beech-roots for another of our chalk- 
hill favourites, we found — sure enough ! — that spiky shell ^ 
which seems to imitate the form and colour of the sheathed 
buds of the beech-leaves. 

The track we now followed began to descend rapidly, 
and we discovered, after climbing down a considerable 

' Had Milton viewed a scene like this ? or was his sublime simile for the 
fallen Angels a pure creation of his imagination ? 

* Yet faithful how they stood 
Their glory withered ; as when heaven's fire 
Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines, 
With singed top their stately growth, though bare, 
Stands on the blasted heath.' —Par. Lost, i. 612. 
^ Asplenium Trichomanes. ^ TUausilia laminata. 

160 SCENE OF FOREST FIRE. en. iv. 

way, that we were on the wrong side of the watershed, so 
that there was nothing for it but to reascend as nearly 
as possible two thousand feet towards the main ridge of 
Troghir which we had left. 

A comparatively bare steep tempted us to make 
straight for our object ; but having with difficulty fought 
our way upwards through a jungle of fern and dwarf elder, 
we presently foiuid ourselves entangled among the debris 
of a not very ancient forest fire. The ground was toothed 
with sharp splinters of burnt rock, and strewn with a net- 
work of branches, too rotten to bear our weight, but quite 
strong enough to trap our feet and tumble us over — all 
which gins and snares were treacherously concealed by a 
forest of bracken which rose above our heads. Add to 
this, that at every few yards we had to scale high barricades 
of sooty timber, and at the time were at a loss to conceive 
why Providence should have made fir-trees so confoundedly 
spiky ! When it is remembered that we had about five- 
and-twenty pounds on our backs, and that the sun was 
broiling hot, it may be imagined that our progress was slow, 
and in fact we were forced to win every inch as much 
with our hands as our feet. However, as we gradually 
stormed our citadel, we were rewarded for our bumpi= 
and lacerations by a view as strange as it was picturesque. 
In these upper regions it was only the smaller trees tha 
had been actually burnt down, the larger had been simplj 
killed and left standing. The sight as we looked dowi 
had a savage fascination quite unique ; the colours were s< 
varied, so striking, so bizarre, that they deserved to hav( 
been perpetuated by a great painter. Here and there 
were the charred funereal skeletons of forest giants, witl 
jagged stumps of branches in harsh relief against a distam 


background of green valley and blue undulating mountain, 
almost voluptuous in its softness of tint and contour. In 
some trunks the blackness was chequered, where the bark 
had peeled off, by broad scars, taking every tint of amber; 
in others, it was draped in ashy festoons of lichen, or 
swathed in verdant folds of moss. Some trees, already 
roasted to death by fire, had at a later period been shivered 
by the lightning, and the whiteness of their splinters 
showed that little but their bark had been charred by the 
previous conflagration. Some indeed had actually survived 
it, and on one side a small island of still flourishing trees 
— a dark yew-green fir, an emerald and a golden beech — 
stood out against the sootiest thicket. 

But we gradually left this funereal waste beneath us, 
and groping upwards once more through virgin forest, at 
last succeeded in regaining the ridge of Troghir. We 
even hit on our lost path, but it soon eluded us again and 
disappeared beneath the wrecks of tall pine-trees, which 
seemed to have buried all traces of it. For here, if a fallen 
tree bars the path, the Bosniac woodman does not cut it 
away, but either climbs over it, or, if the obstacle is too 
high for man or beast to surmount, he deserts the track 
altogether and makes another elsewhere. Thus the forest 
barricades are gradually allowed to accumulate till they 
reach dimensions simply stupendous, and the path which 
originally swerved a few yards out of its course may 
eventually be turned as much as a mile. But we had 
learnt a lesson about trusting to paths which, while still 
smarting from the effects of our second ascent of Troglnr, 
we were not likely to neglect ; so this time we followed 
the guidance of our compass as literally as we coidd, scal- 
ing barrier after barrier till we were well nigh worn out. 



No one, I think, who has not himself tried to penetrate a 
primeval forest on a windy mountain ridge, can realize 
what these obstacles really are ! It was late in the after- 
noon when we conquered our last barricade, and to our 
delight beheld before us the smooth lawny swell which 
forms the summit of the Vucia Planina, from which the 
Troghir is an offshoot. 

An easy ascent brought us to the top, where we rested 
awhile to enjoy the glorious mountain panorama that 
opened out all round. We are now in the very heart of 
Alpine Bosnia, ' each one of whose lofty mountains,' to 
quote the words of her native historian,^ ' exalted to Ayuk, 
the fiery star, is an eyesore to the foe.' But the traveller 
must make allowance for Oriental hyperbole. Here, at 
least, the mountains were contented with a less sidereal 
stature ; nor was there much that could even be called 
rocky or precipitous except the head of Vlasid to the 
south, which peered over lower mountain shoulders and 
conical peaks, shrouded, as the long neck of Troghir below 
us, as all the other Goras and Planinas round, with dense 
forest growth. To call the scenery Swiss would be mere 
flattery ; indeed, its whole character, the small height of 
the mountains, the want of boldness, the down-like swell 
of their contours, recalls rather the Carpathians than any 
part of the Alps that I have seen. The summit of Vucia, 
on which we now are, is inconsiderable as regards altitude, 
not being more than 4,300 feet, according to our aneroid, 
though, to be sure, the Major makes it 5,000 — ^for the sake 
of round numbers. There is something Carpathian, too, 
about the forests, the gigantic pines and beeches, and 
— as might be ex[)ected from the commonly calcareous 

* Ouier Eflendi of Novi, op. cit. p. 86. * 


nature of the soil in the flora generally. Here, as in the 

ranges that border Roumania, the drooping gentian, the 
sweet-william, and the sunflower are among the most 
noticeable flowers. 

But the sun is sinking low in the heavens, and it is 
higli time for us to be again on our legs. We now made 
our way across the southern slopes of the summit, or rather 
table-land, of Vucia, which forms a lovely Alp or mountain 
pastiu'e. At intervals we came upon peasants of the type 
we had seen the evening before (we had met with no 
human being in the intervening day) tending kine, or 
mowing hay. When, however, we approached some 
women — who, being unveiled, we assumed to be Latin 
Christians — to ask the bearings of Travnik, they rushed 
away into a thicket screeching, ' Ilai Hi I hai 'ti ! ' ' Off! 
off! ' so Moslemized — if indeed they were rayahs, as we 
tliink certain — were their ideas of propriety ! One of 
them had made a sign which we mistook for an answer 
to our enquiry, and against our better judgment we fol- 
lowed the direction indicated, and which afterwards 
turned out to be hopelessly wrong. 

Meanwhile, our lines had fallen in pleasant places. 
The fresh scent of hay was dehcious ; the soft undulating 
mountain lawn, dotted with magnificent beeches, kept 
perpetually recalHng a fine English park ; on one side, too, 
it was appropriately fringed by a fir-plantation of Nature. 
It was quite hard to realize that we were far from any 
town or even shelter. In the midst cf these loneliest of 
mountains one kept half expecting to catch sight of the 
cosy red gables and mullioned windows of some old Eliza- 
bethan mansion. The beeches seemed to have caught 
the inspiration of the landscape. In the freer atmosphere 

M 2 


•en. IV. 

of these glades they had lost the almost poplar-like pro- 
cerity of their forest -growth, and expanded into that more 
pear-shaped outline which is so congenial to genteel pre- 
cincts. Over those forest depths through which we had 
been diving all the day had reigned the ' silence of the 
central sea,' but these woodland coasts and islands were 
alive with garden songsters — tits and wrens and black- 
])irds~ fluttering about in the golden sunshine of evening, 
and filling our ears with familiar home melodies. 

Here, too, we saw a most beautiful sight — a fine 
convolvulus hawk-moth (we had made acquaintance with 
another the evening before), up and dissipating at an 
liour when all well-regulated moths should be wrapped 
in downy slumbers, and making, as we thought, a most 
unfair use of a proboscis full two inches long to drain the 
nectar from a whole spike of yellow salvia, before any of 
its fellows should be awake to cry halves. It was a 
pert fly, and seemed quite to revel in the sunlight — a 
''fast ' trait, it is to be feared in a nocturnal insect. Such 
airs, too, as it gave itself ! — flouting here, flirting there ; 
flitting on from conquest to conquest. As if the gorgeous 
creature did not know that it was irresistible ! As if the 
very sunbeams did not lackey it — showering gold-dust 
over that expanse of delicately-mottled grey ! What 
Danae sprite, never so pent up in perfumed cell, could 
resist such courtship ? What flowery elf be proof against 
the superb obeisance of that taper body, tricked out in 
all its tiger livery of rose and sable ? To see it dawdle 
round a bevy of fair blossoms, in lazy eddies, drifting 
rather than flying, with a blase air of languid inspection ;| 
to see it, in more light fantastic vein, dance off* to the] 
flower of its capricious choice, and bob airily up andi 


down, coquetting with those saffron hps, ere it poised — 
how daintily !— to steal their sweetness. It was decidedly 
livelier than our friend of yestereen, and so intent upon 
its nectar as to let us gaze within a foot of it ; it seemed 
to have a keener, a more epicurean^ enjoyment of life, 
and gave itself all the airs of a bon-vivant. Indeed it 
showed its good taste in its preference for salvia ; for the 
scent of these flowers is exquisite, and I have sometimes 
stopped wonderingly to look for musk, so like is the 
smell at a little distance off. 

On this side of the mountains the flowers and foliage 
are more luxuriant. Glade and woodland are sprinkled 
with kinds we have not yet met with, a large rosy cranes- 
bill, a yellow labiate, with a peak of the most gorgeous 
purple leaves — if indeed they were not petals — tremulous 
little hare-bells, lastrcea and delicate varieties of ferns, 
while here and there bright scarlet strawberries gemmed 
the ground. The trees grow to an even more gigantic 
stature than those we saw before. We measured beeches 
fifteen feet in circumference, at about three feet from 
the ground ; and many— as on the Mazulia Planina 
opposite, where some of the finest timber in Bosnia is 
said to grow — rise to a height of a hundred and twenty 
feet. A pine-tree measured fourteen feet and a half 
in girth. 

For we are again immersed in the primeval forest— 
and night seems nearer and shelter further. The sun 
was already setting, when a gap in the trees revealed to 
us a mountain vista, which showed that we were on the 
wrong side of the ridge. A woodman whom we presently 
met told us that we were going towards Zenica instead 
of Travnik, and we discovered that we were on the 


debatable mountain neck, between the Vucia and Gor- 
cevica Planinas. The woodman intimated to us that to 
strike across and attempt to regain the Travnik path was 
hopeless, and that we had better follow the ridge in the 
direction of Zenica. But we made up our minds to cut 
across and follow the valley of a stream which led in our 
direction. Accordingly we crossed over to the western 
side of our ridge, and found ourselves on the brink of an 
almost precipitous steep, descending to the Jasenica, our 
desired stream, heard but not seen, thirteen hundred feet 

The mean angle at which this slope descended was, 
as nearly as we could calculate, 60°. Had it been bare, 
we could not possibly have descended it, laden as we 
were ; but it was covered wdth beech-trees, which might 
stop us if we fell ; so we resolved to attempt a descent. 

It was certainly very difficult work ; the beech-leaves 
made it slippery, and concealed rocks and boughs would 
tri]) us up, or a piece of soil give way. We were per- 
petually dislodging fragments of rock, which rolled and 
leapt down, quicker and quicker, crash after crash, can- 
noning against the trunks, taking bigger and bigger 
bounds, till a final plunge told us that they had reached 
the stream. They never lodged half way. Every now 
and then we seemed likely to follow them, but we 
always succeeded in arresting our fall by clutching at a 
passing trunk. It grew darker and darker; but we 
still kept on at our painful Uisk, till, about six hundred 
feet down, I broke one of my knapsack stra|)s in a tum- 
ble, and it being impossible in such a ])osition either 
to mend it or to carry it, we were lucky in discovering, 
close by, a hollo w^formed l)y the uprooting of a forest 


giant — to serve as sleeping-quarters for our third night 
running, sub Jove frigido, and where we hterally lodt/ed 
till peep-o'-day. The worst was that we were unable to 
collect fuel for a fire, and before morning a chill breeze 
sprang up, and the thermometer sank almost to freezing 
point ; for, in less mountainous localities than this, August 
frosts are by no means rare in Bosnia. For nocturnal 
visitors we might take our choice — as the wind invented 
footsteps — of the wdld swine, bears, and wolves, that in- 
habit these mountains ; but none of these fourfooted gentry 
molested us ; and, except that once or twice w^e woke with 
the cold, or by reason of sundry stones and aw^kward tags 
of root, which would keep running into us, we slept 
soundly enough. 

Aug. 17. — Having executed the needful repairs, we 
continued our descent before sunrise, and finally found 
ourselves at the bottom of the gorge — the opposite steep 
of Mazulia frowning over us as precipitously as that 
which we had descended, and the whole ravine being so 
narrow that there was room for nothing but the Jasenica 
torrent below, over arched by the stupendous beeches 
which clung to both steeps. 

In a dry part of its bed we demolished our last scrap 
of bread, and reviewed our position, which was not 
favourable. The gorge in which we found ourselves was 
from all points so inaccessible that we doubted wdiether it 
had ever been trodden by foot of man before. To make 
our way along the valley seemed well nigh impossible, so 
vast w^ere the rock and timber barricades with wdiich the 
torrent had piled its course. On the other hand, to re- 
ascend either steep was tantamount to a defeat, and in 
eitlier case w^ould brin^ us no forwarder. Hut it was 


becoming painfully evident that we must get somewhere, 
and quickly — as the day before, owing to our ill-judged 
liberality to our Zaptieh, we had had to stint ourselves of 
food, and now the last scrcip of solid nutriment was gone 
— there could be no doubt about that ! So, all things con- 
sidered, there was nothing for it but to fight our way down 
the gorge as best we might, and trust that as the stream 
got lower its valley would widen. We found that the 
best way was to plunge bodily through the water, now 
and then jumping from rock to rock, or slipping into deep 
pools, and every few yards having to scale dams of trunks 
and branches, whose hugeness showed the force of the 
torrent in the rainy season. The want of an axe made 
a good deal of this work more difficult than it otherwise 
would have been, so that it sometimes took an hour to 
make a few score yards of way. 

And yet the guerdon of our struggle was rich indeed. 
An hour or so from our starting-point the sides of our 
ravine became more rocky, and started up sheerly on 
either side of the stream, which, dashing between these 
' iron gates,' leapt from a rocky platform, and plunged 
some sixty feet below in a magnificent cascade. We were 
forced to make a tedious detour by climbing up the 
steep ; but the rocky walls, the overhanging beeches^ 
the snow- white foam veiling the abysmal gloom, gave us 
glimpses of a beautiful picture. The vegetation, too, of 
our valley was marvellous in its luxuriance. Here, where 
the rays of the meridian sun scarcely pierce, stately sun- 
flowers would raise their great fiaming crowns as if to 
light up the shades of fell and forest. Drooping gentians — 
those weeping willows among flowers ! — hung lovingly over 
the stream : methought they were its guardian nymphs^ 

CH. IV. 



swelling its waters with tributary dew from a myriad azure 
urns ! The dimensions taken by some of the ferns were 
certainly extraordinary ; the lady-fern waved feather-like 
sprays near five feet in length, the hart's tongue put forth 
fronds like small palm-leaves, three feet long and about 
three inches broad. Even the tree-like moss^ that cushioned 
the damp crevices 
between the rocks 
rose to an abnormal 

After many 
weary hours the val 
ley began to open 
out a httle, and the 
stream allowed us 
room for passage on 
its margin. Fur- 
ther on we came to 
little patches of mea- 
dow land by its 
side, and even, here 
and there, to traces 
of a path, and an- 
other sign of man, 
the ashes of an old 

camp-fire. Beyond Itocky Gorge of tn- Josenlca. 

this, again, the mountains grew more rocky, the trees 
smaller and more scanty, and scenery of a bolder kind 
broke upon us. First, as if to prepare us for wliat was to 
follow, a tall obelisk of rock started up in the middle of 
the gorge ; and having passed, as it were, Cleopatra's Needle^ 

Rryum ligulatuin. 


the rock-architecture took an appropriately Egyptian 
character, and we found ourselves among what it only 
required a slight exercise of imagination to transform into 
the ruins of the Pharaohs. Colossal walls and columns 
towered on each side of the torrent, and scarcely allowed 
it a passage ; and, looking through these antique portals, 
the top of a pyramid appeared in the distance — the lime- 
stone peak or Vlasic. 

We made our way with some difficulty through the 
precipitous defile, and were rewarded by a cheerful pro- 
spect of a maize-covered height beyond, surmounted by 
w^ooden huts and the minaret of a mosque. A short climb 
brought us to the village, called Zagredzi, hanging on the 
slope of Mt. Mazulia. Here we thought to get some- 
thing to eat, for we were half famished ; but we certainly 
were not prepared for the inhospitality of the villagers, 
w^ho apparently were all Mahometans. As we passed 
along the street every door was slammed. The women 
scurried away and hid themselves ; even the men fled at 
our approach ; and though we succeeded so far as to parley 
with one, no entreaties or offers of money could induce 
him to procure us bread or milk. So there was nothing 
for it but to proceed on our way and shake the dust of 
this churlish village from our feet. Just outside we passed 
what we take to have been an old karaida or watch-tower, 
of rough masonry, square in shape, witli barred windows 
and an old circular arch now half buried in the ground, 
surmounted by a plain round moulding. Happily, beyond 
this we came upon an apple-tree, and, as the ground was 
strewn with apples, considered ourselves justified in nnti- 
cipating tlie vagrant swine. 

CU. IV. 



We presently met a party of countrymen, and per- 
suaded one, in return for coin of the realm, to put us into 
the way to the village of Podove, there to strike the path 
for the Franciscan monastery of Gu^iagora, where we pur- 
posed to throw ourselves on monkish hospitality. At 
Podove we found for the first time some monuments of 
a kind which we were to meet with again in other parts 
of Bosnia, and which are scattered over the whole 

These are large tombstones, some as much as six feet 
ong by three in height, of a tea-caddy shape, resting on 

Mjsterious Sepulchres, Podove. 

a broader stone platform. The impression they give you 
is that they are descendants of Eoman sarcophagi, and 
indeed their upper part is exactly similar to some Eoman 
monuments.^ There is, so far as I have seen, no inscrip- 
tion on them ; but occasionally, as on some of those at 
Podove, they are ornamented with incised arches at the 
end and side of a quasi-Gothic form, whicli may be useful 
in determining their date. The erosion of the stone and 
mutilated condition of many probably point to con- 

^ As, for instance, some rough Roman sarcophagi found at York, and 
now in tlie parden of the Philosophical Society of the town. 


siderable antiquity, as also does the fact tliat I have 
twice noticed them overturned and blocking up tlie 
channel of streams which had undermined their ori«final 
standing ground. They certainly bear no resemblance 
to the turbaned columns of Turkish cemeteries, and 
indeed an examination of those at Podove convinced 
me that many had been purposely mutilated by the un- 

All these facts point to the conclusion that they are, 
as the Bosniacs express it when they want to indicate a 
date previous to the Turkish captivity, ' more than three 
hundred years old.' On the other hand, if not Moslem, 
neither are they like the memorial stone crosses, such as 
one we were shortly to see at Guciagora, which are the 
imdoubted work of Christians, and which date back at 
least to the sixteenth century. 

There are, however, some modern monuments wliicli 
we noticed at one place in the Herzegovina which resemble 
these in outline ; these were in a small Jewish graveyard 
outside Mostar, and had Hebrew inscriptions on them. 
But the Jews of Bosnia and the Herzegovina are all a 
Spanish-speaking people, who took refuge from their Chris- 
tian oppressors within the borders of more tolerant Islam 
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Previous to this 
settlement there do not seem to have been any Jews in 
the country, since in early Bosnian history, so occupied witJi 
religious struggles, so blood-stained with fanaticism, there 
is not, so far as I am awni'o, any mention of them. Even 
at the present day they arc, as rcuards numbers, an in- 
significant minority, domiciled ahiiosi exclusively in a few 
of the larger towns.^ It is hardly conceivable, therefore, 

* There are at present about '5,000 .Tows in liosiiia, resident mainly in 


that in early times the Hebrews should have occupied the 
country to such an extent as to have dotted it with these 
monuments, which are to be found passim throughout 
Bosnia. On the other hand, the stones that we saw near 
Mostar were considerably smaller than these ancient 
examples ; and it seems quite possible that the Jews, with 
their national thriftiness, should have simply used some of 
these old blocks which they found ready to hand, cut- 
ting off the time-worn exterior or exposing a new surface 
for their inscriptions, but for convenience sake retaining 
the original form. Whatever the explanation of these 
Mostar monuments, I feel constrained to give up the 
hypothesis that these older memorials are of Jewish work- 

But to whom, then, are these mysterious blocks to be 
referred? A better key to the solution of their origin 
and date is to be obtained by comparing them with some 
monuments of more finished execution and greater fecun- 
dity of ornament described by Sir Gardner Wilkinson,^ 
as existing near Imoschi and at other places on the Dal- 
matian frontier. These, although not exactly answering 
to the ruder handiwork of the Bosnian midlands, are yet 
so evidently allied, that what is true of them must to a 
great extent be true of these before us. On the blocks 
described by Sir Gardner there occur devices such as 
huntsmen with bows and spears, knights holding sword 
and shield, and even occasionally rude armorial bearings, 
all which ^rs. the date of their execution between the 
twelfth and sixteenth centuries. 

Serajevo, Travnik, Banjaluka, and Novipazar. See Thoeniniel, Beschrei- 
hmuj des Vilqjet Busnien, p. 1C8. 

' Dalmafia and M(»tfenef/ro, by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, F.R.S., vol. 
ii. p. 181, &c. For some in Narenta Valley, see p. 31. 


There were other peculiarities about ' tliese unknown 
sepulchres,' as Sir Gardner calls even the more storied 
Dalmatian monuments. On many appeared a crescent 
moon with star or stars, and on others an arm holdinfj 
a sword. Now it is a curious fact that, of these two 
devices, one — the moon and star — is the emblem of Illyria 
occurring in the middle of the old Bosnian escutcheon ;^ 
the other — the arm of offence — is the ensign of Primorie, 
the Serbian coast-land. These sepulchral devices seem, 
therefore, to have been badges of nationality or clanship ; 
unless, indeed, anyone prefers to suspect that the moon 
and star possessed a superstitious, before they acquired a 
heraldic, import.''^ 

In the lonely gorge of the ^elesnica, to the south- 
west of Serajevo, we found one of these lunar monu- 
ments, which I mention here as it further illustrates the 
connection between the Bosnian and Dalmatian tombs. 
It was a sarcophagus of the same kind as those at 
Podove, but with a crescent rudely engraved at one end. 
In juxUiposition with this was an upright slab, I can 
scarcely call it a cross, about six feet high and much 

But there is another point of resemblance even more 
important than the half moon, to connect the sepulchres 
we saw with those described by Sir Gardner. 

* The coincidence between the appearance of the moon on these monu- 
ments and on the Bosnian arms had already suggested itself to me before 1 
was aware that it had also struck Sir Gardner Wilkinson. 

* The moon an^ stars were favourite symbols on Mithraic gems and 
monuments, which are nowhere more plentiful than in Illyria, if I my 
judge from personal experience. They were also in vogue with the Gnostics. 
According to Manes the moon was a purgatory of good spirits; their im- 
mediate haven alter death. See King's (f nasties and their liemains. IJut, 
for a more probable explanation of them oon and stars on Bosuiim arms 
and mouumuats, scu page iM'.K 

CH. IV, 



Out of a large number of these Bosnian monuments 
which we examined here and elsewhere, there was not one 
on which we could detect the remotest semblance of a 
cross. Sir Gardner Wilkinson notices, with reference to 
the Dalmatian tombs, that ' it is singular that the cross 
should occur so rarely,' and supposes that those few 
monimients on which he found it belong to a later 
date, when, owing to the Turkish conquests, there was 
more reason to introduce the distinguishing emblem of 

Anci-nt Monuments in Zelesnica V^alley, 

Christianity. For my part I cannot think this ac- 
count satisfactory ; but it seems to me that an explana- 
tion lies at hand which will make the absence of tlie 
cross on these monuments at once intelligible, and may 
serve as a clue towards unravelling the mystery of their 


The Bogomiles — that strange Manichsean sect whose 
history has already been touched on, and who appear to 
have formed the majority of the Bosnian population dur~ 
injj;- the vurv centuries in which these monuments were 


erected — shrank with horror from representations of the 
cross. ' They abhor the cross as the instrument of Christ's 
death,' says Euthymiiis,^ who, from having been commis- 
sioned by the Emperor to extract the full tenets of the 
sect out of its ' heresiarch' Basil, is peculiarly qualified to 
speak on the matter. When pressed by Euthymius as to 
the reason why the Bogomiles, when vexed with devils, 
ran to the cross and cried out to it, he made answer that 
the evil spirits within them loved the cross, for it was their 
own handiwork. It appeased them, therefore, or enticed 
them forth. Is not, then, the absence of the cross on 
these monuments, coupled with the fact of its presence on 
all imdoubtedly orthodox sepulchres throughout these 
regions, and some of these of considerable antiquity, strong 
presumptive evidence that they are the work of those old 
Bosnian puritans? 

This reasoning will perhaps appear the more significant 
when it is added that the modern Bosniacs refer these 
hoary sepulchres to the Bogomiles. 

Thus the voice of tradition, the remarkable con- 
formity of these tombs with a salient peculiarity of the 
Bogoniilian rehgion, the approximate date of their erec- 
tion — all point to the same conclusion. Add to these 
the locality of so many of these ancient graveyards. 
During the course of our journey through Bosnia we 
came upon many spots where these interesting monu- 
ments existed. They were generally away from towns — 
in mountain gorges, by unfrequented paths — in the 
Wilderness, in short, where the Bogomiles took refuge 

* Euthymius Zygabenus, Panoplia. Presbyter Cosnias, ILirmenopulus, 
and Anna Comnena give the same account. See my Historical lieviciv 
of Bosnia. 


from their Eomish oppressors. The seckided position of 
these tombs recalls the words of Eaphael of Volaterra, 
who speaks of the Manichaaan brotherhoods as living in 
hidden valleys among the mountains of Bosnia.^ It 
has already been noticed that the peculiar situation of 
these sectaries, perhaps too their iconoclastic tenets, 
made them ready to welcome Mahometan in place of 
Eomish rulers, and favoured that process of renegation 
which has given us a Sclavonic race of believers in the 
Prophet. May not this account for the preservation of 
so many of these monuments, when nearly every other 
prae-Turkish memorial of Bosnia has been swept away? 
Is it not conceivable that these renegade Manichees may 
still have looked with peculiar tenderness on the tombs 
of their fathers, and have averted the hand of the 
destroyer ? Alas ! neither heretic nor infidel has a vates 
sacer to enlighten us on these sepulchral mysteries ; but 
we at least found it pleasing to believe that the rudely 
hewn blocks, that we came upon amid primeval forest or 
solitary mountain glen, were, as the Bosniacs assert, ' the 
tombs of the Bogomiles' — the sole material memorials of 
those staunch upholders of Puritan faith in the days of 
grosser superstition, whose sweet spiritual influences every 
reformed church in the world feels still, though it may not 
acknowledge I 

We now crossed the river Bila, into which the Jasenica 
had debouched, and, ascending the hills to the south-west, 
presently came in sight of the lately erected Franciscan 
monastery of Guciagora — a large white barrack-like pile 
with a bulbous church tower, situate at the hollow of 
the hill, at an altitude of 2,300 feet above the sea, accord- 

1 Raph. Volat. 1-8. 


ing to our reckoning. On a hillock just outside was a 
curious Christian monument, of evidently considerable 
antiquity. On one side was a foliated cross of some 
merit ; on the other a Latin cross, showing that it was 
the work of Eoman Catholics, as indeed one would expect 
from the denomination of the present inhabitants of this 
neighbourhood. But it belonged to a period when the 
lUyrian church did not disdain to make use of the 
national Serbian alphabet, for it presented an inscription, 
the Cyrillian characters of which the present monks of 
Ouciagora were unable to decipher. 

Making our way through the entrance arch of the 
monastery, much as if we were entering an Oxford College, 
we found ourselves in a quadrangle with cloisters below. 
There a monk came up to us, and bidding us follow 
him upstairs, conducted us to the guest-chamber, where 
others of the fraternity soon made tlieir appearance, and 
received us with right monkish hospitality. They were 
not slow in perceiving, from our hungry plight, that we 
stood in need of something more substantial than ghostly 
comfort ; and while some hurried oiF to their manciple 
with orders to provide us speedily with a solid refection, 
others revived our drooping spirits for the moment witli 
native Bosnian wine — fresh from the goat — happily suc- 
ceeded by Turkish coffee. • 

The monks were Minorites, of that order of St. Francis 
of Assisi wliose services in combatmg Bosnian heresy of 
old liave been already recorded.^ They were fourteen, 
all told ; and certainly, so far as room was concerned, they 
had [)ower to add to their numbers, for their church 
forms only one side of their quadrangle, the otlier 

* See the introductory HisUtrieal Review of Bosnia. 


three being intended for occupation ; and as there are 
three storeys, and each side has thirty-nine windows 
looking into the quadrangle, it may be gathered that the 
monks are not pinched for room. 

The church itself, which completed the quadrangle 
in most appropriately collegiate fashion, was a painful 
jumble of paint and stucco with wooden pillars, and a 
few saintly gimcracks. For musical performances it 
possessed a harmonium, and, like that at Comusina, it 
was completely devoid of pews. 

The monks were unfeignedly astonished at our ap- 
pearance, and would hardly beheve that we had arrived 
on foot and without escort. They said that to travel in 
Bosnia at present without Turkish guards was sheer mad- 
ness ; that the state of the country was becoming more 
critical every moment ; and that the insurrection in the 
Herzegovina had roused Mahometan fanaticism to such a 
pitch that all the Christians of the neighbourhood were 
seriously dreading a massacre. The monks themselves 
certainly seemed to share in the prevaihng panic ; for the 
day before, when the Latins of the district were assembled 
at the monastery to celebrate the feast of the Assumption, 
the brothers had sent off to tlie Mutasarif, the Turkish 
governor of Travnik, for protection. The Mutasarif, recog- 
nising, apparently, the legitimacy of tlleir fears, had sent 
them a guard of soldiers, and the Christian congregation 
had performed their devotions under the tutelage of 
Turkish bayonets. 

It may at first sight seem strange that people in fear 
of Turkish violence should have had recourse to Turkish 
protection, and perhaps stranger still that such protection 
should have been accorded them. The explanation, in 

N 2 


fact, lies at the root of much that is least intelligible to 
the outsider in the present state of Bosnia. 

It has been the policy of the Mahometan conqueror 
to favour the Eoman Church in the province, as a ready- 
counterpoise to the orthodox Serbians, who in numbers far 
outweigh the Mussulmans,^ and who, in contradistinction 
to the Latins, are imbued with national aspirations. On 
the other hand, the Eoman ecclesiastics as a rule enter- 
tain a far more wholesome abhorrence of their fellow- 
Christians than of the infidel, and so the alliance is com- 
pacted by mutual benefits. The Turks, from the year 1463, 
when Sultan Mahomet granted the Franciscan monks 
their great Charter of Liberties, the ' Atname,'^ have been 
politicly liberal to them, exempting their monasteries 
and lands from taxation, and freeing the brothers from 
the capitation tax which weighs on the rayah. In return, 
the monks have exerted their influence in rendering the 
Latins submissive to their rulers, and have backed up the 
Mahometans in their oppression of the Serbs, as the mem- 
bers of tlie Greek Church are significantly called. When 
the Latins have been ill used, it has been principally owmg 
to the weakness of the Osmanli element and the bigotry 
of the Sclavonic renegades of Bosnia, of whose almost inde- 
pendent rule mention has already been made. When, in 
1850, Omer Paslni dealt the deatli-blow to Mahometan 
feudalism here, and practically recovered Bosnia for the 
Sultan, he received support from many of the Latins. 
At the present moment the danger which the monks were 
in such dread of, was not from the Turkish authorities, 

' The respective numbers at th'o last official return were :— Greeks, 
676,766 ; Mahometans, 442,060. 
« See p. 222. 


but from the Sclavonic Mussulmans, the representatives 
of the old provincial Janissarism, the descendants of the 
Capetans and Begs, who eye the myrmidons of the Stam- 
boul Government with almost as much hostility as they 
do the rayah, and, true to their conservative bigotry, draw 
far less subtle distinctions between one Giaour and another. 

We were naturally inclined to suppose the fears of 
the monks exaggerated, and could not help thinking that 
if their situation were as desperate as they would fain 
make it out, it would have been better if, instead of pray- 
ing, they had taken arms and instructed their flock how 
to defy the Moslem in their mountain fastnesses. As for 
their lamentations, they smacked of Gildas in their queru- 
lousness ! The brothers were especially apprehensive of 
a bloody anti-Christian outbreak in Serajevo, the capital 
of Bosnia, where they doubted whether the Pasha — him- 
self, in their opinion, a tolerant man enough — could re- 
strain the fanaticism of the Mussulman population, which 
exceeds that of all other Bosnian Mahometans, as much 
as the bigotry of Bosnian Mahometans in general exceeds 
that of all the other followers of the Prophet in Turkey- 
in-Europe. Of the revolt in the Herzegovina the monks 
knew but little, except that Mostar had not fallen. 

These alarmist outpourings were relieved by a hospit- 
able diversion. The brothers conducted us to the refec- 
tory — a spacious chamber, the size of an average college 
hall — where we met with most sumptuous entertainment 
— as we thought it at the time — consisting of some lumps 
of mutton, good brown bread, eggs poached in cheesy 
milk, vermicelli, and a sweet melon— a sign that we w^ere 
advancing south. 

Seated once more in tlie guest-room, we exchanged 


ideas with the monks on a variety of interesting topics, 
and were much struck with the amount of culture -which 
many of them possessed. They comprised among them 
a respectable acquaintance with modern languages — one 
knowing German, another French, another Italian, and 
most possessed of at least a smattering of Latin — so that 
we were able to hold a most polyglot conversation. The 
German-speaking monks told us that they had received 
their education at the monastery of Diakovar, in Slavonia. 
This was founded in 1857 by the well-known Bishop 
Strossmayer, and endowed by the present Emperor of 
Austria. It was intended as a theological seminary for 
the brothers of the Bosnian order of Minorites, to whom 
it was handed over. There is a certain fitness about its 
locality, as after the Turkish conquest of Bosnia it was at 
Diakovar that her titular bishops fixed their residence ; 
and it was from there that, for a while, they exerci^^ed a 
nominal control over their diocese, under Csesarean in- 
fluence. The sheep among wolves, however, very naturally 
turned away from absentee shepherds, and sought spiritual 
guidance from the Minorites, who lived in their midst and 
fcihared their vicissitudes. The establishment of this semi- 
nary is therefore a very good move if it was sought to 
revive the Imperial influence^ for the Franciscan organisa- 
tion in Bosnia, on which the whole Latin population de- 
pend for their ghostly needs,^ is thus placed to a great 

* In Bosnia even the parocliial duties are performed by monks of this 
order, who discard the monastic dress and wenr the onliuaiy civil costume, 
inclndinpf cutlasses and pistols. Every three years the chapter of the order 
(the Provincial, that is, of the Minorites, with a custos and four definitors) 
electa a * mission for the cure of souls,' and the monks who are doing service 
as secular priests are either confirmed in their office or exchanged for others. 
The head or ' Quardian' of every monjistery is also priest for his district. 
Thus the parish churches are completely dependent on the Franciscan 
brotherhood, each monafitery possessing so many churches. This at Gu^ia- 


extent under tlie tutorsliip of Austria ; and if the monks 
gain in culture, his ApostoHc Majesty gains in good-will. 
Add to this that the Eoman Church in Bosnia is in one 
way or another indebted to the Imperial Government for 
pecuniary contributions, and that the establishment of the 
Austrian Consulate-General at Serajevo in 1850 has 
made it possible for Austria to play the part of pa- 
troness ^ of the Catliolics in Bosnia, and to carry into effect 
in the most emphatic way in this part of the Sultan's 
dominions the right of protecting the Eoman Catholic 
Church in Turkey, which she secured by the Peace of 
Carlovitz. No one, after this, will be surprised to learn 
that the Eoman Catholic influence in Bosnia is a lever in 
the hands of Austria ; and, to quote the words of an attache 
of the Austrian Consulate-General in Serajevo, ' The Em- 
peror of Austria is, in the eyes of Bosnian Eoman Catho- 
lics, the Emperor and supreme prince of the Catholic 
Church, just as in the eyes of the Oriental Greek population 
the Eussian Emperor is the head of the Greek Church.' ^ 

So we were not long in discovering the Austrian lean- 
ings of the monks while discussing the possible eventuali- 

gora has nine ; that at Sutiska, the largest in Bosnia, as many as twenty-two 
churches. As parish priests, however, the brothers find their allegiance 
somewhat divided between the Vicar Apostolic of Bosnia and the Pro- 
vincial of their order. See Thoeramel, Beschreibung des Vilajet JBosnien, 
p. 96, &c. 

^ Gustav Thoemmel, op. cit, pp. 94-6, gives statistics showing the im- 
proved state of the Roman Catholic Church in Bosnia since the establish- 
ment of the Austrian Consulate-General in Serajevo. Writing in 1867, he 
says that in 1850 there were only forty-one parsonages in Bosnia, now sixty- 
nine. Up to 1860 only the three old monasteri'es of Sutiska, Foinica. and 
Kresevo existed ; since then three more have been founded, namely this at 
Guciagora, one at Gorica, near Livno, and one at Siroki-brieg, in the Herze- 
govina, six hours west of Mostar. In 1850 the Boman Catholic population 
was 160,000, in 1874 it had risen to 185,503. 

2 Gustav Thoemmel, Beschreihung des Vilajet Bosnten. Wien, 1867, 
p. 101. 


ties of Bosnia. They were extremely interested in the I 
attitude of England — complained bitterly of the way in 
which we had supported the Turk against the rayah, but 
at the same time professed themselves extremely hostile to 
Eussia. But they betrayed a lively repugnance to the 
Great Serbian idea in any shape, seeing in Serbian unity 
the triumph of their Greek rivals, who form the large 
majority of the population of Bosnia, and who would at 
once become the ruling caste,^ if Bosnia were united to 
Free Serbia, Montenegro, and the other fragments of 
the old Serbian Empire. As far as we could gather 
their aspirations, they were willing to see the old king- 
ship of Bosnia restored under the suzerainty of Catholic 
Austria, thinking that the Latins would thus recover 
their old dominant position in the country, and the 
Catholic rulers obtain the same support of Austrian can- 
non as their forefathers had of Hungarian battleaxes. 
Failing the erection of a Eoman Catholic principality under 
the wing of the double-eagle, they were willing to see the 
whole country occupied by Austria, and actually annexed. 
But rather than see Bosnia in any foi-m a Serbian state, 
they would accept the continuance of Turkish rule. 

These sentiments must not however be looked on as 
universal among the Eoman Catholics of Bosnia. In many 
parts they are yielding to a generous sympathy with 
Greek fellow-Christians. Notably in Herzegovina, Eoman 
priests have appeared among the leaders of the insurrec- 
tion ; and Bishop Strossmayer, whoee influence among 
the Eoman Catholics is very great, is himself a warm 
champion of union with free Serbia.^ 

* According to the last census there were 576,756 Bosniacs of the Ortho- 
dox Greek Church, and only 185,50;l Roman Catholics. 
' I am indebted to Canon Liddon for this fact. 




A Turkish Cemetery — Arrive at Travnik — Taken for Insurgent Emissaries 
— The ex-Capital of Bosnia — New Readings of the Koran— Streets of 
Travnik — Veiling of Women in Bosnia — Survivals of old Sclavonic 
Family Life among Bosnian Mahometans — Their Views on the Pic- 
turesque — Their Dignity, oracular Condescension, and Lakser-aller — 
Hostile Demonstrations — Bashi Bazouks — ^Alarums Excursions!' — 
Insulted by armed Turks — Bout of the Infidels — Departure of Maho- 
metan Volunteers for Seat of War — Ordered to change our Route — A 
Turkish Road — Busovac — Romish Chapel and Bosnian Han — The Police 
defied — Our Mountain Route to Foinica — Ores and Mineral Springs — 
Dignity at a Disadvantage — Turkish Picnic — The Franciscan Monastery 
at Foinica — Refused Admittance — An ' Open Sesame ! ' — * The Book of 
Arms of the old Bosnian Nobility ' — Escutcheon of Czar Diishan — 
Shield of Bosnia — Armorial Mythology of Sclaves — The Descendants of 
]^>0!<nian Kings and Nobles — The Ancient Lords of Foinica — The ' Mar- 
cian Family ' and their Royal Grants — A Lift in the Kadi's Carriage — 
Traces of former Gold Mines — Mineral Wealth of Bosnia — A * Black 
Country' of the future — Why Bosnian Mines are imworked— Influence 
of Ancient Rome and Ragusa on past and present History of Bosnia, 
and on the distribution of her Population — A Fashionable Spa — Kis- 
ijeljak and — Beds ! 

But it is high time to take leave of this hospitable 
brotherhood, and continue our way to Travnik, which we 
proposed to reach that night. The monks kindly found 
us a Latin peasant from the neighbouring village to set us 
in the right path, and we began a winding ascent of a 
foot of Mt. Vlasi(5. From the crest of this a fine mountain 
prospect opened out to the south and west, range over- 
topping range till they culminated in the far distance 
towards the Dalmatian frontier. But below we caught 
sight of what was then a more welcome prospect, the high- 
road, namely, leading to Travnik — it being now four days 


since we had seen anything which by a stretch of courtesy 
could be called a road! Taking leave of our guide, who 
was vastly gratified by a couple of 'grosch,' as the 
Bosniacs call piastres, we made oiu* way to the highway 
and followed the telegraph wires — for it was actually hned 
with telegraph wires — in the Travnik direction. On one 
side of us flowed the little river Lasva, driving a succession 
of turbine-mills such as have already been described ; and 
on the other the limestone heights of Mt. Vlasic rose above 
us, bare as regards vegetation, but as we neared the town 
planted tier above tier with Turkish gravestones : for 
throughout Bosnia — as generally in Turkey — the old- 
world fashion prevails of burying the dead by the road- 
sides outside the walls of towns. It was an impressive 
sight, that forest of turbaned columns. Some loftier head- 
pieces spoke of the old days of Janissary rule. In places 
great stone sarcophagi were overturned and rifled by 
the mountain torrent ; here and there lay marble slabs 
fretted with vine-leaves and interlaced devices, which 
still betrayed their Byzantine ancestry. On the left we 
passed another landmark of the East — a capacious stone 
cistern ; and at last a turn in the road revealed to us 
the ex-capital of Bosnia — mosques, minarets, and chalet- 
like houses harmonizing with the Alpine precipices above ; 
and, in the midst of the town, a craggy acropolis crowned 
with another castle of old Bosnian kings. 

- We had scarcely entered the town when an observant 
Zaptieh pounced upon us to know our business ; and on 
our demanding to see the Mutasarif,^ or Governor, con- 
ducted us to the Konak. The Mutasarif was at the time 

* Since the new constitutional laws of July, 1865, Travnik has become 
the seat of Government for one of the seven circles, or Mutasarifliks, into 


absent from the town at his country Iiouse — at least so 
we were informed, though considering the critical state 
of the country the statement seemed ahiiost incredible. 
We were therefore obliged to show our credentials to his 
lieutenant ; but this functionary, for some reason, which 
the small smattering of Italian of which he was master 
failed to convey to us, at once ' smelt a rat,' and, as the 
best court of inquiry at hand, hurried us off to the tele- 
graph office, where one of the officials spoke French, and 
then and there put us through a severe cross-questioning 
as to our route and our objects in travelling. 

' How was it possible,' he asked, ' for you to have 
arrived at Travnik without escort ? You say that you 
come from Tesanj over the mountains, but you don't 
expect us to believe that you came on foot ! Besides, 
where is the piece de conviction ? Where is your Zap- 
tieh ? You say that you are now on the way to Sera- 
jevo, but ' — and this was regarded as the most damning 
fact of all — ' we see this order in the Vali's handwriting 
was given at Serajevo, and you must therefore be com- 
ing from it ; at any rate you must have been there, which 
you deny.' 

It was a little embarrassing to know how to convince 
people who put both postal transmission and pedes- 
trianism beyond the range of human possibilities ! How- 
ever, a circumstantial account of our itinerary, coupled 
witli the awkward fact that they could not deny that our 
bujuruldu was in the actual autograph of the Governor- 
General, and that, however we came by it, we had it in our 

which the Vilajet of Bosnia (including Herzegovina) is divided. The Muta- 
savif is an officer superior to the Kaimakara as the Kaimakam to the Mudir. 
The Mutasarifliks answer to the German Kreise, the Kaimakamliks (districts 
under Kaimakam) to Bezirke. 



possession, brought our officials to reason, or at any rate 
to a wholesome perception that we were masters of the 
situation. So the Mutasarif's locum tenens being reduced 
to express himself satisfied with our explanation, our 
French interrogator changed his tone to one of apology. 
He explained that our arrival had been so mysterious that 
we seemed to have dropped from the clouds, and our being 
on foot and unattended convinced the authorities that we 
must be Austrian emissaries sent to excite the Bosnian 
rayahs to revolt! 'You see, monsieur,' he wound up, 
'you come in very delicate times' — and certainly, to 
judge by the un-Turkish bustle of the telegraph office, 
the times were ' delicate ' indeed ! 

A Zaptieh was now told off to escort us to the ' best 
hotel in Travnik,* and after a little more stumbling and 
slipping through streets so terribly cobbled that they 
made one sigh for the mountain-side again, we arrived at 
our destination, a miserable han, where we were ushered 
into an upper room, and our w^ants attended to with due 
dilatoriness by the squalid hanjia and a boy rejoicing in 
the name of ' Smily,' who between them made up the 
whole personnel of the establishment. Here, while wait- 
ing for the pilaf and indescribables which compose our 
evening meal, we have leisure to reflect on the augustness 
of the town in which this is considered ' first class ac- 

For Travnik, in the eyes of your Bosniac, is decidedly 
no mean city. Although at present, with its 12,000 in- 
habitants, only a quarter the size of Serajevo, and indeed 
at no period comparable to it either in populousness or 
commercial activity, Travnik was yet for nearly two 
centuries the political caj)ital of Bosnia, and the seat of 


lier Viziers. Their original seat was indeed Serajevo, 
but when the Vizierate of Bosnia stretched itself over 
Slavonia to the Drave, Banjaluka was fixed on as the city 
of residence, owing, it would seem, to the remoteness of 
the older capital from the new frontier. But when Buda 
was recovered in 1686, Banjaluka might be regarded as 
too much at the mercy of a coup de main, and the Divan 
of the Vizier was again transferred beyond the watershed 
and pitched at Travnik, as if the Turks were still loth to 
give up hopes of once more ruling on the Hungarian 
bank of the Save. At any rate they kept up the pleas- 
ing fiction that they ruled it still, for down to quite recent 
times the Vizier-Pashk who resided here cUmg to tlie 
vain title ' Vizier of Hungary.' The importance of 
Travnik is seen in the interesting ' Account of the War 
in Bosnia,' written in the first half of the last century 
by a native Bosnian historian.^ Travnik is the seat of 
government and jurisdiction. It is here that a kind of par- 
liament is ' summoned by the Vizier, consisting of the mag- 
nates, judges, muftis, priests, and other learned effendis,' 
to grant supphes in view of the invasion of Bosnia by the 
Austrians. It is outside the walls, on the ' plains of 
Travnik,' that the army of true believers assembles from 
all parts of the province. Serajevo, the seat of the 
native aristocracy, became indeed more and more the 
real seat of government, but the Sultan's Lieutenant was 
obliged to content himself with his shadowy dignity at 
Travnik, till Omer Pashk in 1850 finally crushed the 
Capetans and transferred the Vizierial residence once 
more to the Serai. 

^ Omer Effendi of Novi, whose writings were edited and printed by- 
Ibrahim in Turkish, and were translated into English by C. Eraser in 1830. 


Aug. 18. — Next morning, while we are still enjoying 
hard-earned rest — and let it be recorded, injustice to our 
hanjia, that our room was tolerably free from vermin — a 
most honourable exception in Bosnia ! — in comes the act- 
ing Governor, whose acquaintance we had made the day 
before, leading his little boy, decked out in raiment of 
purple velvet and crimson silk, with gold brocade and 
elaborate arabesques of embroidery — more gorgeously 
bedizened than any princeling of our poor civilized West ! 
— and begs me to photograph, or, failing that, to sketch 
the little man. As a camera I had brought with me had 
unfortunately come to grief at an early period of our 
tour, I was reduced — for all my disavowals of artistic 
skill — to attempt what portraiture I could. The child, like 
his father, was a true Osmanli, unlike the light-haired off- 
spring of the native Sclavonic Mussulmans, dark in eye and 
locks, and withal precociously endowed with something 
of the gravity of his race. His self-possession, indeed, 
was amusing. He could not have been more than six 
years old, but he leant quite quietly against his father's 
knees, hardly shifting his position the whole while, and 
laid his little hand on the big hilt of his paternal 
scimetar — ^instructed, doubtless, to look all the future 
hero ! The pride of the fond papa in his hopeful was 
an amiable study, though purblind Frankish eyes might 
detect little that was remarkable about the prodigy. 
Alas ! the artist was uninstructed as to those points the 
insistance on which was most acceptable to his patron ; 
and though the Turkish parent was on the whole satisfied 
with a scrutiny of my humble performance, he looked up 
from the paper with an air of profound art-criticism, and 
requested me, as I loved truth, to make the eyebrows 


darker. It was too true ; I had not done justice to the 
raven pigment ! 

And the Koran ? it may be asked, what about the 
prohibition of the Prophet against the portrayal of hving 
things ? Actually it is observed about as rigorously in 
Bosnia as the prohibition against drinking wine. Within 
the last year or tw^o a Dalmatian photographer has set 
up in Serajevo ; and to prove the laxity of morals in this 
respect, it may be mentioned that Mahometan priests 
have their hkenesses taken by him, and that in one case 
he was summoned to reproduce a w^hole group of Turks 
engaged in the interment of a fellow-believer. 

We found much to interest us in the streets of Trav- 
nik, and indeed the superior architecture of the town still 
witnesses its old importance as the seat of government. 
There are some larger buildings besides the castle already 
mentioned — palaces of bygone Viziers, barracks for 
Turkish troops. Even the ordinary rows of wooden 
houses — with their latticed dairy-like windows, the central 
bays of their upper story, the blue pillars and other orna- 
ments painted outside — are not without variety in hue and 
outline; and amongst these rise more sohd edifices of 
stone. Here, for instance, is one such — the best in the 
town — supported on arcades of solid masonry, adorned 
with rosettes carved in the spandrils of the arches : per 
haps an old Bezestan or cloth-hall — very possibly the 
magazine of some merchant prince from Eagusa, for the 
arcading below is characteristic of the street architecture 
of the old repubhc. Beyond this — we are surveying one 
of the most picturesque street scenes in Travnik — rises 
an old mosque of wood, time-stained, dilapidated, with 
pinnacle awry. At its side an elegant cupola, supported 



en. V 

on foiir columns and ogee arches, encanopies the tur- 
baned tomb of a Mahometan saint ; for every true believer 
who falls in battle against the infidel ' drinks,' as tlie 
Bosnian historian expresses it, ' the sweet sherbet of mar- 
tyrdom,' and passes from this ' vale of tears ' to enter with 
saintly honours into the joys of Paradise. Beyond these 

Viow in Travnik. 

rose a background of gardens and spreading foliage, and 
above, the naked precipices of Mount Vlasi(3. 

Climbing round by the liills to rejoin the town on 
the other side, we gained a more general view of the 
city, and counted no less than thirteen minarets, besides 
two clock-towers, and — what we had not seen in a Bos- 


uiaii town before — the stone cnpolas of the bath and 
the larger mosques or dzamias. The porches of some of 
these Mahometan prayer-houses had altered little from 
those of the early Christian church, and were in truth 
as Byzantine as their domes. The walls are most bril- 
liant, not to say tawdry, outside — painted with what were 
meant to be delectable fore-glimpses of Paradise — palm- 
trees loaded with dates, fruitful vines sprouting forth 
from vases, or here a luscious melon with a knife ready 
inserted for the carving. Like devices might be seen on 
the spandrils of the kiosques that rose over the saints' 
graves, but all in the most gaudy and inharmonious 
colours. Against the walls of some of the mosques were 
built the w^ooden booths of Travnik tradesmen, so that 
the disfigurement of sacred edifices by secular accretions 
is not confined to Christian countries. The most gor- 
geous of all the dzamias had been converted into a kind 
of gathering- ground for the fruit and vegetable market 
— as if the fruiterers considered that the celestial fruits 
painted on the sanctuary w^alls above might be useful in 
suggesting to customers the propriety of enjoying the 
humbler fruits of earth, and serve generally as a good 
trade advertisement. It is, however, to be hoped that 
the faithful will be supplied with better plums hereafter 
than are to be obtained for love or money in the Travnik 

Narrow rows lined with the usual open stores — 
varied and fascinating as ever. Armourers' shops, with 
handshars or Bosnian cutlasses, yataghans, quaint orna- 
mental guns and pistols ; another store containing 
nothing but melons ; grindstones next door ; two or three 
watchmakers — glazed windows to these, and a goodly 

194 THE VEILING OF WOMEN. ' ch. v. 

exposure of turnips; as elsewhere, many Jacks-of-all 
trades. Among the primitive arts practised here that of 
a rope-maker struck me. He held the cord tight with 
his great toe, while he twisted it with his fingers. The 
inhabitants of Travnik are mostly Moslems, with a small 
infusion of Spanish Jews and Serbs, or members of the 
Greek Church, some of whom are the most well-to-do 
merchants in the place, and have organised a company — 
the Kombeni, as it is known here — for facihtating traffic 
with Serajevo. Their wives were dressed in the style 
which distinguishes the Christian women of Bosnian 
towns from those of most country districts, and which 
approaches the fashions of Belgrade. 

In strange contrast to these were the Mahometan 
women, several of whom we noticed in the streets to- 
wards evening. Their whole face was concealed but for 
the tiniest eyeslits imaginable ; but their insatiable bash- 
fulness is not contented even with this, for in passing a 
stranger they must needs bow the head so that the fringe 
of the upper veil which curtains the head falls forward 
far enough to eclipse their last loophole of humanity ! 
Their hands they modestly hide in two front pockets of 
their dress. Their exterior envelopes are sometimes green, 
sometimes white, sometimes of a darker hue; those 
whose under veil is black and outer white, looking at a 
little distance strikingly like nuns. Besides the two 
ordinary veils — that which drapes the head and that which 
swathes the nose, mouth, and bosom — their forehead is 
often covered with an additional piece not unlike the 
half mask worn at masquerade balls, usually of black 
horse-hair, with the two eyeslits above-mentioned fringed 
with gold. The whole form is mummied in such a way that 



an Englishman who had travelled through a great deal 
of the Ottoman dominions, but who had not visited Bosnia, 
could hardly be induced to believe that the figure below 
represented a woman of European Turkey. To find her 
like, one must transport oneself as far away as Egypt. 
Outside the limits of conser- 
vative old Bosnia, her disguise 
would be laughed at by the 
Turks themselves ! 

But what is still stranger 
is that in Bosnia should co- 
exist the two extremes of veil- 
ing and not veihng. If the 
married women here veil them- 
selves more than anywhere else, 
en revanche unmarried girls 
are allowed to display their 
charms in a way which, to the 
well reofulated Turk of another 
province when he first visits 
Bosnia, is quite scandalous. 
There is a Turkish proverb, ' Go to Bosnia if you wish 
to see your betrothed ! ' It is actually a fact that in 
this reactionary land there are such things as Mahome- 
tan love-matches ; and even when the mother is allowed 
to select the spouse in the usual way, by inspecting, 
that is, the ' stock ' in the baths, even then — so demora- 
lized are the customs of these Mahometan Sclaves ! — 
the young people are allowed to converse together be- 
fore tying the conjugal knot. On Fridays and Mondays 
— days of greater liberty to all the Mahometan women 
— lovers may steal up to their sweethearts' windows 

o 2 

Bosniac ^Mahometan Woman. 

196 ' GET ALONG, DO ! ' en. v. 

and whisper airy nothings to them through the lattice. 
This Bosnian custom is called aschyklik, and has been 
compared with the Femterln of Styria and Upper Austria.^ 

Mondays and Fridays, and through a lattice — what 
restrictions can be more judicious? 

Lamentable to record, the day was a Wednesday and 
the place a public fountain in the street of Travnik. A 
Mahometan girl, very slightly veiled, was drawing water, 
when up comes a young fellow with the ostensible pur- 
pose of doing the same. He was a gay deceiver ! — she 
might have told it from his roguish look, — but for the 
honour of Islam my pen refuses to chronicle the rest. 
Of course the artless maiden gave vent to a ' Haiti I ' but 
in a tone so soft, so insinuating, as abundantly to prove 
that that word of dismissal is capable of as many inter- 
pretations as ' get along, do ! ' among certain she-Giaours, 
and to be the natural prelude to more mutual oglings, 
and squeezes, and gigglings, cut short by the appear- 
ance of an unwelcome third party in the distance — retri- 
butive Propriety herself, advancing like a walking sack. 

Not many years ago a tragic love romance had Trav- 
nik for its scene. In the days of the last struggle of 
feudal Bosnia for her provincial liberties, a young 
Osmanli sergeant of Omer Pashk's army, who was sta- 
tioned here, fell in love with the pretty daughter of a 
Bosniac Mussulman, and was betrothed to her. Before 
they could be married, however, the sergeant fell in battle, 
and the maiden, when she heard of the death of her 
beloved, rather than survive him and be forced to marry 
another, blew out her brains with a pistol. The moral 
drawn by Omer Pash^, in relating this tragic story, was 

* See Roskievid. 


admirable. ' It all comes of not wearing the veil, and 
letting affianced couples see each other. If she had 
always kept her yashmak on her face she might have 
married another man, for there would have been no 
great love in the matter.' ^ 

This approach towards natural relations between the 
two sexes is doubtless, as much else among the Bosniac 
Mussulmans, a survival of the old Sclavonic family Hfe. 
The Mahometan house in Bosnia more nearly approaches 
our idea of home than in any other part of Turkey. We 
learnt that polygamy was almost non-existent throughout 
the province. It has been dying out, it is true, in other 
parts of Turkey, but here it appears never to have taken. 
What is still perhaps exceptional among the wealthier 
Turks, the richest Bosniacs have only one wife. Some 
of them are said to have concubines, but public opinion 
here denounces the Moslem who concludes more than 
one marriage. A few years ago a representative of the 
old feudal nobility, Ali-Beg Dzinic, one of the richest 
landholders in the country, set all Bosnia in an uproar 
by taking a second wife in the lifetime of the first. ^ 
Another pecuharity of these Mussulman Sclaves, illus- 
trating tlie vitality of the family tie, is to be found in their 
names. Mahometans elsewhere, with the exception of 
Persians and Arabs, have no family name ; but here, after 
the orthodox personal appellation, as in the instance 
above, to the Ali, or Mehchmet, or Selim, these descend- 
ants of the old Bosnian nobles add their ancestral 
patronymic. This, however, is confined to the grandees, 

^ I take this anecdote from the author of TJie Danubian Frincipalities 
(vol. ii. p. 326), to whom Omer Pasha related it. 

^ See A. von Hilferding, Basnim,—Reise-Skizzen aus dem Jahre 1857, 
p. 12 (translated from the Ilussian). 


and is rather an instance of the tenacity with which the 
Bosnian aristocracy has clung to its old feudal attributes. 

After all, one ought rather perhaps to wonder that 
these Sclavonic renegades have received so much of the 
impress of Islam. Considering the difference of race — 
how strange it is to see a bevy of blue-eyed hght-haired 
Mahometans ! — it is curious what thorough Turks these 
Travnik burghers make. Towards evening many of 
these grave merchants seated themselves in the gardens 
of a cafe just outside the town, and, while alternately 
purring their narghiles and sipping their coffee, contem- 
plated, without uttering a syllable, the beautiful scene 
before them — the mountains, the green valley, the foaming 
mill-stream murmuring at their feet. 

We were assured by • Europeans ^ in Bosnia that the 
Turks do not care a rap for nature — that they are utterly 
callous as to scenery ; that if anything charmed, it was 
the peace, the silence — not the beauties of the landscape. 
It is this, they say, which allures the Turk to seek 
as his greatest luxury the gardens of his country house. 
Yet old Edward Brown,^ in his ' Travels in the Levant,' 
in the seventeenth century, records how the Grand 
Signior passed two months on Mount Olympus, not only 
for the coolness of the air in summer, but also for the 
sake of enjoying the prospect of the fair champaign of 
Thessaly on one side and the blue expanse of the uEgean 
on the other. For flowers at least, all Bosniacs, Mussul- 
man as well as Christian, display an extraordinary love ; 
not only do they adorn their persons with them on every 
possible occasion, but so great is their craving for them, 

* In the French translation (Pjiris, 1074), which is the only copy I have 
by me. P. 70. 


that at Serajevo it is not unfrequent for mendicants to 
station themselves at the doors of our Consulate to beg 
not for bread, but for a single flower from the pretty 
little garden. 

Meanwhile there sit our Turks, to all outward ap- 
pearance rapt in the enjoyment of the picturesque. What 
sapient big-wigs, too, they look ! — how profoundly versed 
in all the Law and the Prophets ! — of what superfluity 
of braininess are those capacious turbans suggestive ! 
It is hard to realise that these gentlemanly beings have 
been engaged all day in peddling trades. And indeed 
it is true that they forego with lordly disdain the petty 
chicaneries of their calling ; it is notorious, among 
foreigners in Bosnia most hostile to the Mahometans, that 
wares are, as a rule, to be bought cheaper and of better 
quality with them, than at stores kept by Christians. The 
true believer will not wilfully cheat, and disdains to bar- 
gain. This is always put down to their fatalism ; but I 
doubt if it be not more due to a certain personal dignity 
which the plastic Sclave of Bosnia has borrowed from the 

One would expect the brows of a pure fatalist to be 
smooth as marble. There could be, one would think, no 
trace of emotions to which he is superior. But the 
features of these Bosniac Mahometans are fretted with a 
positive network of wrinkles — far more than those of an 
average Englishman. The truth is that, superior as they 
are to many of the ' changes and chances of this mortal 
world,' they, too, have their weak points, and vanities of 
their, own, about which they are touchy as other people. 
It is their wish on all occasions to seem oracular, to be 
lawgivers, to impress you with the profundity of their 


learning, to give the idea that they know a great deal 
more than they choose to say— to make up for the 
paucity of their observations by accentuating their value. 
Thus on the shghtest occasion tliey will elevate or depress 
their brow, and otherwise contort the features with a 
kind of measured emphasis. The wrinkling process re- 
sembles that of the dogmatic and self-important type of 
German ; it is the very opposite to that theatrical adap- 
tiveness which leaves the footprints of every emotion on 
the Zingar's face. Not indeed that the expression arrived 
at smacks by any means of Teutonic cantankerousness ; it 
is rather a Spanish Grandezza — a stately condescending 
pohteness — which converts every shopkeeper you con- 
verse with into a Grand Signior ! 

Of course in their manner of life and their way of 
conducting business there are traces enough of the numb- 
ing influences of fatalism. Though these Mahometan 
tradesmen are distinguished by their honesty, which, as 
everybody knows, is also the best policy, though they 
are favoured by belonging to the ruling caste, there is 
a want of enterprise among them which precludes them 
from favourably competing with the Christians. Almost 
all the larger businesses in the country are in Christian 
hands; the Mahometans are shopkeepers at most, not 
merchants — they are too stationary by temperament. 
Perhaps they indulge more than the rayahs in narco- 
tics ; it was woful to see the ghastly pallor of so many 
Turkish faces. Here and there in the course of our 
journey amusing features in Mahometan interiors bore 
witness of the laisser-aller spirit of the inmates. In the 
Konak at Tesanj was a writing-table made for no less a 
personage than the Kaimakum, and it wius put togetlier 

n. V. 


with bits of wood of uneven sizes, just as they came handy ; 
and here, in the telegraph office at Travnik, was another — 
quite an elegant escritoir — but the whole spoilt and 
rendered ridiculous by a piece of wood of insufficient 
length being stuck in the middle. Providence having 
been pleased to place it in the way of the upholsterer. 
If a button comes off an official's coat, he never thinks of 
replacing it ; and if a beast dies before a Bosniac's house, 
instead of removing it, or even burying it, he leaves it 
there to stink ! 

To-day w^e noticed a certain amount of positive mani- 
festations, and those directed against ourselves. Many of 
the believers scowled as we passed, and one old fellow 
did me the distinguished honour of coming up and 
cursing me in the middle of the street. Once a Ma- 
hometan store-keeper positively refused to sell any of 
his wares to the Giaour — the Kaur, as the Bosniacs call 
him — and I should have been unable to procure the 
' lumps of delight ' which I affected, had not a Serb mer- 
chant, whose acquaintance I had made, come up and 
ex})lained that I w^as neither a Kussian, nor an Austrian, 
but an EngUshman, on which the Turk relented at once. 
We were, however, more seriously annoyed by being fol- 
lowed wheresoever we went by a Zaptieh ; and at last, 
unable to stand such persecution any longer, betook 
ourselves to the telegraph office to demand an explana- 
tion from our French-speaking friend. 

' You see,' said he, ' he has orders from the prefect 
of pohce to follow^ J^^^-' 

' To follow us ! So he still takes us for spies, then ? ' 

' Oh, that is not the reason ! It is simply for your 
safety. You see we are in a very critical state : the 


CH. V. 

Mahometans here are very fanatical — they may rise 
against the Christians at any moment.' Had he said, 
as indeed was the case, that they were actually rising 
in the neighbouring town of Banjaluka — that the Chris- 
tians of Bosnia had risen against the Turks — that the 
Turkish burghers had in places flown to arms in self- 
defence — that massacres were being perpetrated all along 
the Save — he would have put us more on our guard. 
As it was, by subsequently admitting that we were still 
suspected to be insurgent emissaries, he destroyed the 
effect of his previous warning, and left us as averse to 
having a Zaptieh clattering at oiu- heels as we had been 
before. Perhaps, too, we were rather obtuse in not read- 
ing the signs of the times more clearly. During the 
whole day raw levies, not regulars, not redif or reserve, 
but the old Bashi Bazouks, Mahometan volunteers dressed 
in the ordinary coimtry costumes — the red turban and 
sash, loaded with antiquated pistols and handshars or 
short sword-knives — had been streaming into the town. 
Some of them were beating a diabolical tattoo on drums 
shaped hke the bowls of spoons — quite in harmony with 
the savage aspect of the warriors. During the night we 
were frequently woke up by bugle-calls, and next morn- 
ing the uproar had rather increased. We, however, 
knowing with what brotherly feehngs the Bosniac Turks 
regarded Englishmen, felt no uneasiness on our own 

account. So that leaving L at the Han, I hesitated 

not to sally forth alone, unencumbered either with escort 
or a revolver, to sketch the old castle. 

This, like the other old castles we have seen, belongs 
to the days of the Christian kingdom, and is in fact said 
to have been the work .of Tvartko, the first King of Bos- 

CH. V. 



iiia.^ In form and general aspect it is very mucli the 
same as the Starigrads of Doboi and Tesanj. Like them 
it terminates at one angle in a polygonal tower ; and, 
like them, is more remarkable for its situation than the 
beauty of its architectm^e. It rises on a peninsular rock 
with ravines on every side, except where a low narrow 
neck connects it with the mountains, which dominate 

Old Castle of King Tvartko at Travnik. 

it so completely that it w^ould be quite untenable at pre- 
sent, though the Turks seem still to use it as a kind of 

^ The old name of Travnik appears to have been Herbosa. (See Farlato, 
Illyricwn Sacrum, t. iv.) I notice a serious error in Dr. Spruner's Historisch- 
GeograpJdsches Hand-Atlas, where Travnik is made identical with Bobovac, 
the old seat of Bosnian bans and kings, which is 40 miles to the west, near 

204 UNDER FIRE. ch. v. 

While I was drawing this venerable ruin I became 
unpleasantly conscious that a battery of some kind or 
other was opening a lively fire on me from the rear, and 
presently, a larger stone than usual whizzing past my 
head, I thought it high time to make a reconnaissance, 
and looking round perceived that the enemy chiefly 
consisted of a lad of about' fom-teen. Seeing me get up 
with no very amiable intentions, the urcliin fell back on 
his reserves, a group of armed Turks, to whom I made 
unmistakable signs that I should consider it a favour if 
they would restrain the enthusiasm of youthful Islam ; 
and having thus given vent to my feehngs I retm-ned 
tranquilly to my drawing. Then it was that a well-aimed 
missile — judging by the sensation it produced, larger than 
any of its predecessors — hit me on the middle of the 
back ; and tliis time, being thoroughly roused, I went for 
our yomig artilleryman in such earnest that he made for 
a neighbouring house, and slamming the door, disap- 
peared from my indignant view. Whereat, being still in 
a very pretty temper, I knocked at the door with my 
stick, hoping at least to wreak vicarious vengeance on 
the rascal by means of liis parents. Wliile in vain at- 
tempting to gain an interview with the inmates, one of 
the group of Turks with whom the boy had first taken 
refuge came up and shouted to me ' Tiirsko ! Tursko ! ' 
meaning that the boy being a Tiu-k might throw as many 
stones as he liked at the cursed Giaour. 

Finally, as neither knocking nor thumping made any 
impression on the door, and myself beginning to recover 
from this ' short madness,' I went back to my original 
station, and was putting a few finishing touches to my 
^^ketc•h, when the door of refuge oi)ened ; the lad, accom- 


paniecl by two armed Turks — one on either side — issued 
forth, and the three swaggered up to me to insult the 
dog of a Christian at their leisure. 

This was more than mortal patience could stand. 
I got up, and, disregarding the menaces of the two 
self-constituted guardians, who, seeing that I meditated 
some act of personal chastisement on their protege, 
shouted ' Tursko ! Tursko ! ' ' He's a Turk ! he's a Turk ! ' 
in tone as if they would bid me lick the dust off the 
urchin's feet, T simply said, ' Inglese ! ' ^ ' I'm an English- 
man ! ' and gave the stripling a good hearty box on the 
ears. The rage of the Turks knew no bounds. For a 
moment they recoiled a few paces as if struck dumb with 
amazement ; then, with a look of fury one of them drew 
his sword-knife and was making at me, but before he 
had time to disentangle it from its sash or its sheath, I 
was on him with my stick — happily a good heavy one — 
and the coward let go his handshar and took to his heels. 
The other Turk, who was beginning to draw his weapon, 
imitated the example of his mate ; the boy ran off in 
another direction, and I was left in possession of the 
field. As, however, I was not prepared to withstand all 
Travnik in arms, and as it seemed possible that this spark 
might serve to kindle that conflagration of fanaticism which 
the official had warned us was imminent, I profited by 
the impression I had made to retreat in good order to 
our Han, where were my reserves and munitions ; and 

with L once more by my side, and our revolvers in 

our hands, felt more at ease. Meanwhile there was an 
ominous hum in the town, and it was perhaps fortunate 
that a Zaptieh shortly arrived to escort us in the other 

^ It is curious that the Italian word should pass current in Bosnia. 


en. V. 

direction to the Prefect of Police, as our French in- 
terpreter styled him, who demanded our immediate at- 

On our way we passed through a kind of Chawp de 
Mars^ with a row of light field-pieces glittering in the 
sunshine, and swarming with a motley array of those or- 
ganised brigands, the Bashi Bazouks. Drums were beat- 
ing, trumpets were sounding, a Tartar messenger in his 
long coat was riding up post haste to the Konak, and 
large crowds of citizens were assembled to see a body of 
these Mahometan volunteers march out of the town for 
Banjaluka. It was becoming more and more unintelligible 
to us why troops against Herzegovinian insurgents should 
be wanted there, and the real truth that we were in for 
a Bosnian insurrection was beginning to dawn upon us. 

These suspicions were confirmed by the official who 
had ' wanted ' us. After re-inspecting our bujuruldu, he 
informed us, by means of an Italian interpreter, that we 
were on no account to go to Foinica (where was another 
Franciscan monastery), as we intended ; that a Zaptieh 
was attached to us, and an Arabk provided to take us 
straight to Serajevo. So there was nothing for it but to 
start as if we acquiesced in the arrangement, without, 
however, in the least relinquishing our intentions. To 
the last we were taken (so it turned out) for Austrian 
emissaries, and it was thought desirable to prevent us 
from holding any communication with the Eoman 
Catholic monks of Foinica. 

So we started on our way, ostensibly bound for Sera- 
jevo, in a covered waggon, escorted by a Zaptieh, and 
left Travnik unmolested. The four hours' jolt to Bus- 
ovac, where we were to sleep, gave us sufficient experi- 


ence of what a Turkish high-road can be. To cross a 
bridge was Hke driving over a row of fallen trunks, with the 
additional pleasing uncertainty as to whether or not the 
whole would give way and let us down into the stream be- 
low. As to the water-culverts over the lesser brooks, they 
w^ere almost always broken in, but the horses w^ere equal 
to the occasion, and always succeeded in jumping the 
cart over — which itself was springless. At one part we 
came to a newly-made piece of road, and this was like 
passing over a succession of heaps of unbroken stones. 
A precipice yawned at one side, and another cliff rose 
sheer above us on the other, so that when in the middle 
of this strait we came upon a monster w^aggon which had 
foundered in the vain attempt to make use of the new 
piece of road, and had taken root as it seemed among 
large blocks of rock, a serious stoppage occurred ; and it 
was not until after considerable delay that all the levering 
and pushing and pulling, of our horses, ourselves, our 
driver, our Zaptieh, and the crew of the foundered w^ag- 
gon, could extricate our cart — which here performed the 
most extraordinary antics. 

But here we are safe at our destination at last ; nor 
are we sorry to have arrived, for our Zaptieh has shown 
unmistakable signs of insubordination. Once, to our great 
indignation, he swooped on some unfortunate rayahs, 
and, before we had time to prevent it, ' requisitioned ' 
them of some bread, for which, to the great surprise of 
all parties, we paid, as the quickest way out of the diffi- 
culty : besides this, our escort and driver thought them- 
selves privileged to drink raki at our expense at every 
Han they came to, till we took effectual means to disabuse 
them of the notion that we were going to pay for it ! 

208 A BOSNIAN ITAN. en. v. 

The country we have been passing through is not so 
rich as the Possavina and the lower vale of Bosna ; the 
crops generally were poor, the mountains were covered 
with less stately forest growth, and indeed out of the val- 
leys the trees here became quite scrubby. Thus there is 
a comparative want of softness about the mountain scenery ; 
the conical limestone hills, with their scrubby overgrowth, 
looking like frozen folds of green drapery, Diireresque in 
its stiffness and angularity. 

Busovac, where we are stopping for the night, is a 
village of about 700 inhabitants, with a couple of mosques 
rising among low houses, each in its little enclosure with 
the shed for kukurutz, the small dwelling-house, the 
square hearth and fire-dogs, all as in Slavonia and Croatia, 
but on a smaller scale. Hearing that there was a Eoman 
Catholic chapel here, we asked to be allowed to see it, 
and were conducted by the priest through some back- 
yards and houses to a small shed, where a plain room 
was fitted up with an altar, a few crucifixes, and pictures. 
The priest conversed with us in Latin ; he also knew a 
smattering of German. He was inchned to do full justice 
to the tolerance of the Turks, who, he said, did not 
molest the Latin Christians here in any way. 

We entered our Han — which is a fair sample of the 
ordinary house of the better-off Mahometans in Bosnia — 
by an archway on either side of which are the stables 
and abodes of menials, and found ourselves in a court (a 
garden in private houses) from which we ascended by an 
out-door staircase to the Divanliane, a gallery running 
the whole length of the house, and overlooking the yard or 
garden, but secured from view by a lattice. From the middle 
of this a kind of transept runs out to the front of the 


house with a bay overlooking the street, and this recess 
is spread with mats and cushions for the usual mid-day 
siesta. On either side of this central hall are the rooms 
with doors opening on to the gallery. We found ours 
fairly clean, our Hanjia obliging, and altogether fared 
very well. Our repast consisted of a soup compounded 
of milk and rice, very fine trout, a chicken very well 
roasted, and succeeded by kaimak^ with little bits of 
sugar floating in it — all excellent ; so that it is possible to 
dine even in Bosnia. 

Next morning we discovered to our sincere pleasure 
that our Zaptieh had levanted, so that we had less diffi- 
culty than we anticipated in adhering to our original 
itinerary and defying the Travnik authorities. We drove 
a few miles fm-ther on the Serajevo road in our waggon, 
and then, stopping at a roadside Han, informed our driver 
that we had no further need of his services. He seemed 
at first considerably taken aback at this coup, but as we 
gave him all that was his due had he carried us to the 
capital, we left him well satisfied. Our next care was to 
secure a guide over the monntains to Foinica, nor were 
•we long in finding a peasant willing to conduct us. He 
only asked us to excuse him a few minutes, and presently 
returned with a serviceable cutlass — rather an ominous 
beginning to our mountain journey ! Our way ran along 
a gradually ascending footpath winding over the undula- 
tions of the Zahorina Planina, and through beechy de- 
files — the trees not indeed so fine as those of Troghir and 
Mazulia Planina, but very beautiful. The flowers and 
ferns were much the same as we had seen before, but the 
beech-fern now for the first time became plentiful, and so 

1 See page 118. 



surpassing rich were the tufts of male fern that we seemed 
to be passing through a gigantic fernery. Now and then 
we emerged on glades and a few scattered fields, with 
huts surrounded by fruit-trees, and there were plenty of 
wild walnut-trees on the mountain itself. 

As we ascended the main ridge we detected the first 
sign of the wealth stored up in the bowels of the moun- 
tain, from the mineral taste of the springs ; and as we 
began to descend the southern slopes, the same cause 
seemed to bhght the growth of beech and oak, and in 
some parts the mountain-side showed bare, while streaks 
of mica rock ghttered like silver in the sunsliine. The 
soil itself from a pale brown took rich ochreous hues, so 
that the range was not without its golden streaks as well. 
Here and there our path was strewn with bits of crystal- 
line quartz, and we picked up pieces of iron, lead, and 
even — we beheve — silver ore ; and here and there frag- 
ments of noble crystals. At the summit our guide had 
left us, and a steep and rough descent brought us to the 
village of Foinica. 

On our way down we passed some sooty-looking 
blacksmiths, and a mule laden with their stock-in-trade — 
theirs being the chief industry of the village. We crossed 
a bridge over a stream, and were threading our way 
along one of the narrow lanes of Foinica, when a hue and 
cry was raised behind us, of which at first we took no 
notice — on principle — till the sound of hiu-ried footsteps 
close behind us told us that the demonstration, of what- 
ever kind it was, could no longer be conveniently ignored ; 
and, looking round, we discovered a Zaptieh making after 
us, and flourishing a pistol in a warhke manner. Then it 
was that we drew forth our magic pass, and there being 



someone by who could read it — an extraordinary occur- 
rence — we were allowed to proceed on our way. As, 
however, we were attempting to ascend to the monastery, 
a barrack-hke pile perched on a rocky platform above 
the town, another Zaptieh stopped us and bade us 
accompany him to the Konak, where we found a man 
who spoke Itahan, and after a long prehminary ' inter- 
viewing ' were told that the Kai'makam^ desired to see us. 
So we were conducted some way off to a garden 
by the stream, where we took his dignity at a disad- 
vantage, for he was engaged, when we appeared on the 
scene, in the presumably unofficial act of dabbling in the 
shallow water, and was in a decided state of dishabille. 
However, he emerged on to terra firma, not the least dis- 
concerted ; and having, with due circumspection, arrayed 
himself in his dressing-gown and shppers, advanced to- 
wards us with undiminished gTandeur, and went through 
the saluting process as if neither he nor ourselves had 
been conscious of each other's presence till that moment. 
Then, bidding us take our seat upon mats spread upon the 
grass in the shade of a spreading pear-tree, he treated us 
to cigarettes and questioned us, by means of the Italian 
interpreter, as to the objects of our travelhng and the 
places we had been to. While this was going on, several 
more Turks equally dignified made their appearance, 
arrayed in the long gowns of undress. These turned out 
to be the Mudir, the Kadi, and the Imaum, each of whom 
went through the usual tem£na, or greeting, by touching 
in turn his head, mouth, and bosom, thereby intimating, 
in the majestic symbolism of the East, that in thoughts, 

^ Of what place I am uncertain. He was only visiting Foinica, which 
itself does not possess so exalted a functionary. 

r 2 


words, and heart, lie was equally loyal to us. From the 
subsequent arrival of a tepsia, several mysterious covers, 
and a roast lamb spitted in the usual way, we perceived 
that we were intruding on a pic-nic a la Turque, and ac- 
cordingly expressed our desire of adjourning to the mon- 
astery, whither the Itahan-speaking EfFendi was dispatched 
to conduct us, the Kaimakam having first given orders 
that we should bo provided with an arabk for our onward 
journey. The Kaimakam had previously asked us 
whether we were Eomanists or Protestants, possibly not 
wishing us in the former case to have an opportunity of 
conversing with co-rehgionists. 

CHmbing up to the rocky height on which the monas- 
tery stood, we found ourselves in another cloistered court, 
not unHke what we had seen at Guciagora. Outside was 
an old foHated cross, much the same as that which we 
had noticed at the other monastery, and dating, accord- 
ing to the monks, three hundred years back ; but the 
buildings themselves were almost entirely of the present 
century. Inside the court we knocked at a door labelled in 
gold letters ' Clausura ; ' but no one opened it. Presently, 
however, a monk sauntered up from another direction, 
evidently to reconnoitre who the strangers might be before 
letting them into the sanctum — ^in troubled times a not 
unnecessary precaution. Seeing a Mahometan official 
with us he at once became, as the French say, houtonne ; 
protested that there was nothing within worth our inspec- 
tion ; and when we told him our reason for visiting the 
monastery, which was to see the curious old Bosnian 
monuments contained there, went so far as to deny that 
any such existed. 

We were beginning to despair of gaining admittance 

CH. V. AN ' OPEN SESAME ! ' 213 

after this, and should probably have gone away without 
seeing the most interesting antiquity, perhaps, in the whole 
of Bosnia — the book, namely, of the Old Christian No- 
bility, as it existed before the conquest — had it not been 
for our old friend, the Major. In his official capacity Major 
Koskievi(5 had obtained admission to this monastery. As 
an Austrian and a good Catholic, he had disarmed the 
suspicions of the monks, and had been admitted to a sight 
of their invaluable treasure. The Major, though as a 
rule he does not trouble himself about antiquities, had 
engraved one of the old designs illuminated in the book 
— the armorial bearings, namely, of the old kings of 
Bosnia; and as I happened to have copied and duly 
coloured this as an appropriate device for the outside of 
my note-book, and possible credentials to Bosniac Chris- 
tians, I took it out of my pocket, and, as a last resource, 
held it up to the monk. 

It proved an ' open sesame ' indeed ! The monk, who 

I thoroughly believed that no soul outside the monastic 
walls knew of the existence of the Book of Arms, much 

I less that anyone possessed a facsimile of any of its illu- 

\ minations, was visibly taken aback. The change that 
passed over his whole demeanour was most amusing. 
He no longer attempted to deny that the book we sought 
existed within, and was now as ready to welcome us in- 
side as he had before been to keep us out. Another monk, 
who had come up during the conversation, which was held 
in Latin, went off to consult the Prior of the monastery, and 
there was something of the ' Arabian Nights ' in the way 

\ in which the ' Clausura ' door flew open, and a saintly 
vision of the Superior of the fraternity himself appeared 
above, beckoning us upstairs. 


We were now ushered into a guest-room of much the 
same kind as at Guciagora, and were treated with coiFee 
and Bosnian w^ine in the same hospitable way, while the 
Prior and several of the brothers clustered round, and we 
conversed in German and Latin on our own travels, and 
the history and prospects of the country ; the monks be- 
traying that of the present state of affairs they knew more 
than they chose to tell. Presently, to our no small de- 
hght, the Prior went to an antique chest, and, unlocking it, 
brought out the old Book of Arms. It was enclosed in 
a worn vellum cover, and at the beginning was a Bos- 
nian inscription, written in old Serbian characters, which, 
Englished, ran as follows ; — 

' The Book of Arms of the Nobility of Bosnia or Illy- 
ria, and Serbia, together set forth b}^ Stanislaus Kubcid, 
priest, to the glory of Stephen Nemanja, Czar of the 
Serbs and Bosnians. In the year 1340.' ^ 

Thus it was a monument of that most interesting mo- 
ment in Bosnian history when, for a while, she formed 
part of that greater empire of the Nemanjas, which seemed 
about to weld all the scattered Serbian populations between 
the ^gean, the Danube, and the Adriatic into one great 
State. It must not, however, be thought that this MS. 
itself dated back to the times of Czar Dushan. The most 
cursory glance was sufficient to convince me that the 
book, in its present state, was a later copy. The designs 
were still mediaeval, but the painting belonged to a period 
when the art of illuminating was almost dead. They 
were executed, not on parchment, as doubtless the origi- 

^ In the original Bosnian, as written into Latin characters for me by one 
of the monks, it ran — Rodoslovje Bosanskoga aliti Iliri^koga, i Srbskoga 
vladanja, zai edno pot«tavlieuo po Stanishui KubCidu popu, na slavu Stipaua 
Nemaujidu, Cara Srblienak Busuiakak, (1340.) 


nal was, but on paper, which, however, was without any 
water-mark, and in places so pohshed by fingering as to 
look like vellum. The copyist, moreover, had left his 
mark in several mis-spelt and bungled words. That it 
was the original, as the monks asserted, cannot therefore 
for a moment be maintained, but I have no wish to deny 
that it was written previous to the Turkish conquest ; and 
I warn any who may harbour such a wish that they have 
to reckon with Apostolic authority. At the beginning 
of the book is a short Latin note dated 1800, in which 
Gregorius, Episcopus Euspensis, and Vicar Apostolic of 
Bosnia, certifies ' that this codex has from time imme- 
morial, namely, from the captivity of the kingdom of 
Bosnia, been zealously preserved by the reverend Fran- 
ciscan brothers of the family of Foinica.' ^ 

Upon the first page was blazoned the Queen of Heaven 
with the Child on her knees, seated on a golden half- 
moon. St. Mary was in the middle ages the tutelary god- 
dess of Bosnia, and the crescent is the chosen emblem of 
Illyria. . Next followed a picture of a saint attended by a 
lion, and intended, if the monks informed us rightly, to 
represent St. Martin.^ This was succeeded by two saints 
beneath a cross, one of them holding a branch ; these 
were Saints Cosmas and Damian, the doughty patrons of 
the Nemanjas, whose efiigies are "still traceable among the 
rich frescoes of their chosen shrines.^ 

^ Hunc codicem ab immemorabili tempore, nempe a captivitate Regni 
Bosnise, studiose conservatum esse a Reverendis Fratribus Franciscanis Fami- 
lijB Foinicensis. 

^ Query, a monastic error for St. Mark. 

' I refer to the Church of Giuryevi Stujjovi, whose dome still rises on a 
hill above Novipazar. A description of it will be found in Travels through 
the Slavotiic Provinces of Turkey in Europe, by G. Muir Mackenzie and A. 
P. Irby. London, 1866, p. 300. 


This, therefore, formed a fitting preface to the ar- 
morial bearings of the great Serbian Czar himself. Above 
the shield appeared a crowned helmet, whose crest was 
the double-headed eagle of empire, supporting another 
rayed crown. On either side were two other casques, 
each crested with two lions, — I take it, from a Macedo- 
nian den, — crowded and guardant. The shield itself was 
divided into eleven compartments ; in the centre re- 
appeared the double eagle of the Nemanjas, argent on a 
field gules, and round this were quartered the arms of all 
the provinces of his empire. Here was the red, crowned 
lion of Macedonia (this alone appeared in two quarters) ; 
the Moorish trophies of Bosnia; the Slavonian leash of 
hounds; the three bearded kings of Dalmatia; the 
chequers, gules and argent of Croatia ; the rampant lion 
of Bulgaria ; the Serbian battle-axes ; the three horse- 
shoes of Eascia ; the armour-cased arm of Primorie, hold- 
ing aloft her sable scimetar. 

The original of this comprehensive escutcheon was 
devised fifteen years before Czar Dushan marched with 
such saiaguine hopes to seize Byzantium ; and already we 
see him claiming sway over a territory which embraces the 
southern provinces of modern Austria, and the greater 
part of Turkey-in -Europe. The Eastern question was 
nearer a felicitous solution then than it ever has been 
since ! Had Dushan found a successor worthy to support 
his shield, or to wear the double-eagled casque, in all 
human probability the Turk would never have made good 
liis footing in Europe, the dotard Greeklings of Byzantium 
-would have given place to a youthful power capable of 
acting as the champion of Christendom and of competing 
successfully with the civilization of the West; and the 


different destiny of these Sclavonic lands might nowhere 
have been more conspicuous than in this very valley — so 
rich in the mineral wealth of nature, so deficient in hu- 
man industry ! Dis aliter placitum ; and were Czar Dushan 
himself to return from the grave, he might well shrink 
from the attempt to form anew the Serbian empire ; or 
if he attempted to cut the knot of complications by the 
sword, he would find himself opposed not only by Turkish 
scimetars, but more effectually by the ignoble jealousies 
of Christendom ; and, in a last resort, by the arms of mili- 
tary monarchies, whose rulers prefer to have for neigh- 
bours decrepit infidels whom they can bully at their plea- 
sure, to see a Christian State rise on their borders, which 
might some day form a healthy rival ! 

After the arms of Stephen Dushan follow those of 
the various lUyrian provinces in detail, as being more 
immediately involved in this Armorial of Nobility. Illy- 
ria herself as a unity does not figure in the Czar's shield, 
but her crescent beneath a star of eight points follows, 
argent on a field gules. This design appears in the 
centre of the Bosnian arms ; to betoken — so the monks 
assured us — that Bosnia is the heart of Illyria. One is 
at once struck with its general resemblance to the star 
and crescent of the Turks, though their star is at one 
side of the moon instead of above it. Indeed the presence 
of these emblems on the Bosnian arms has given rise to 
the erroneous idea that they were imposed by the Turks 
as a badge of suzerainty on their conquest of the country.^ 

^ I find this erroneous theory put forth by the author of the Spicilegiutn 
Ohservationum Historico-Geo(jraphicanim de Bosnia Rerpio, Lug. Bat. 1736, 
p. 84. He supposes that this change must have taken place about 1463, 
when Mahomet subdued the Duchy of St. Sava, and quotes Varennes to 
the eriect that the original arms of Bosnia were an arm of offence — Varennes 


The monks, however, were undoubtedly right in referring 
the star and crescent on the Bosnian shield to her Illyrian 
connexions ; and in fact, in the title at the beginning of 
the book, Bosnia and Illyria are made synonymous. 

Besides the star and crescent, the Bosnian arms con- 
sisted of two crossed stakes, sable on ground or, each sur- 
mounted by the head of a Moorish king. These trophies 

r appeared in the arms of seve- 
ral of the nobles contained in the 
volume, and recalled the long 
struggles of the Sea Serbs with 
the African corsairs. The early 
armals of Eagusa — or, as the Serbs 
call her, Dubrovnik, who often 
stood in peculiarly close relations 
^""N/^^"^ with Bosnia, being practically 

Bosnian Armorial Bearings. ^^^ scaport aud cmporium— arc 

nmch occupied with these Saracenic infestations, which 
extended along the whole Serbian coastland to Albania, 
and at one time desolated the Bocche di Cattaro. These 
trophies bear interesting witness to the deep impression 
left by those struggles on the national mind ; and point 
to those early days when Trajekto on the Bocche di 
Cattaro was the residence of a Bosnian Ban.^ 

himself having mistaken the arms of Primorie for those of Bosnia. The 
Bosnian arms, however, appear to have changed. Thus, in a MS. armorial 
in the Bodleian Library, the date of which seems to be about 1506, they are 
given as — Quarterly, first and fourth, gules, a crown or ; second and third, 
azure, a heart argent. This may have been the arms of the titulary King- 
dom of Bosnia, erected by Mathias when Upper Bosnia was in the hands of 
the Turks. Compare also the arms on the monumental slab of Queen Catha- 
rine of Bosnia. 

^ The Ban Legeth, who reigned at the end of the tenth century. 
Risano, Castelnuovo, &c., on the Bocche di Cattaio, belonged directly to 
Bosnia till King Tvartko ceded his immediate sovereignty over them to the 
Duke of St. Suva. 


The scimetar on the arms of Primorie, or Serbia-on-the- 
Sea, seems to refer to these same struggles, and I cannot help 
suspecting that here is also to be found the true clue to- 
wards solving the mystery of the appearance of the star and 
crescent on the Illyrian escutcheon. The Moslems had early 
appropriated the old Byzantine half-moon/ and Eichard 
Coeur de Lion, on returning from his wars in Palestine, 
added it as a Saracenic trophy to his royal seal. The moon 
and stars appear on the Irish coins of John. JN'o thing could 
have been more natural than for the Illyrian Serbs en- 
gaged in the long contests with the Saracen corsairs to have 
added this device to their shields for the same reason. 

Following the escutcheons of the various Illyrian king- 
doms come those of the nobility — there being no less than 
126 fa.mihes whose armorial bearings are blazoned in this 
book. How much is here to throw a light on the exten- 
sion of Western ideas over the old Serbian area ! How 
much to illustrate the national history, the national cus- 
toms — aye, even the old Sclavonic mythology ; how much 
to recall the origin of illustrious dynasties ! I have spoken 
of the Nemanjic ensigns ; here, too, were the Castriotid, 
belonging to the family of Scanderbeg — again, a double- 
eagle, sable on or, and eagle crest to the helm — the arms 
of the royal house of Bosnia that was to be — the Tvart- 
koevic shield seme of golden fleurs de lys. In many of the 
arms might be detected a curious play on words. The 
Kopievid arms, for example, had four lances, in allusion to 

^ ' There can be no doubt/ says Sir Gardner Wilkinson, * that the crescent 
on the Turkish arms is an old Byzantine emblem copied by the Moslems on 
their invasion of the provinces of the empire.' It had been chosen of old, so 
the story goes, by Byzantium because she had been saved from a night 
attack of Philip by the moon coming out and revealing the approach of the 
enemy. See Dalmatin, &c. vol. ii. p. 184. The Osmanlis must have 
borrowed the device from their Saracenic predecessors. 


the Bosnian word for a lance, Kopje. Brzo is the native 
word for ' quick,' and the device of the Barzoevic family 
is a fish in water. More interesting still is the occasional 
cropping up of the heathen Sclavonic mythology — chiefly 
seen in the frequent appearance of zmaje or dragons, who 
play so important a part in Serbian folk-lore ; and — more 
fascinating than these fire-drakes — the Vila herself ap- 
pears on the shield of the Mergnjavic:! — long-haired and 
devoid of raiment as in Serbian poetry : the guardian 
nymph of the race, holding aloft the eagle banner of 

The book appropriately concluded with a shield 
charged with the armorial bearings of the united Bosnian 
NobiUty ; and the monks, with an enthusiasm worthy of 
record, pointed out the motto — read by the light of after 
events, not without its pathos — Semper spero. 

As this heraldic pageant passes before us — these 
knightly shields and helms, with their crests, supporters, 
and accoutrements — the imagination is kindled to realize 
how these isolated regions fitted once into the polity of 
mediaeval Europe. Here, too, in these barbarous neglected 
lands, the romantic brilliance of chivalry has once held 
sway. For a moment the Paynim surroundings are for- 
gotten — we wake, and find ourselves still within the limits 
of Christendom militant. We hear the herald's trump. 
The barriers that to-day wall off Bosnia from the West 
sink at the potent blast like the towers of some Eastern 
magician. The names, the armorial bearings, recall the 
European cousin-hood of that hierarchy of birth. In due 
order among the escutcheons of Bosnian nobles appears 
the shield of the Frangepani; that of the Euscievic 
family reproduces the oriflamme of France : next in order, 


by a curious coincidence, follows that of the Sestricic, 
strewn with Tudor roses.^ Perhaps it would be impos- 
sible for any other monument to recall more vividly than 
this Book of Arms, at once the futile dreams of Serbian 
empire, the wreck of Bosnian kingship, and that dastardly 
abjuration by her nobles of country and belief. 

Or what fitter repository for such a monument than 
this Minorite monastery.^ Here, perhaps, better than 
anywhere else, one perceives how it is among these Fran- 
ciscan brotherhoods that the traditions of the old Bosnian 
kingdom most live on. The genealogic lore evinced by 
the monks with regard to the old nobility was quite sur- 
prising to us ; they seemed to have the pedigrees by 
heart ; they betrayed sources of information not open to the 
outside world. To understand how this happens one need 
only call to mind that for the most part the royal 
race and magnates were in fact but a Eoman Catholic 
minority, holding sway over heretics and Greeks, and 
that next after the Magyar battle-axe, their mainstay lay 
in the influence and organisation of these very monks. 
Thus it befell that, when the crash came, these Franciscan 
brotherhoods emerged, the only stable remnant from the 
wreck of the old regime. It was in their cloisters that 
the surviving supporters of Bosnian loyalty rallied ; and 
those who in that supreme moment of national prostra- 
tion would neither fly nor play the renegade, found safety 
in the bosom of the Church. The monks confided to us 
that two of the noble families of Bosnia were still repre- 
sented in the fraternity — the Aloupovic and Eadieljevid 

Others, without actually taking the cowl, seem to 

* Of course it is not meant to connect either family with the royal 
races of France or England. 


have found retirement from generation to generation, 
under shadow, as it were, of the monastery. In the vil- 
lage of Foinica below, a poor rayah family perpetuates 
the noble race of Kristic ; and — more interesting still — 
the Christian inmates of another Foinican hovel still exult 
in the royal name of Tvrdkoievic, and preserve the 
lineage of those Bosnian kings whose mighty castles we 
have seen at Doboj, Tesanj, and Travnik. 

The Franciscans were, in fact, put forward to make 
terms for Catholic Bosnia with the conqueror ; and it was 
the head of the Foinica brotherhood, Angelo Zvizdovic, 
who took the lead ; and advancing like a new Leo to the 
camp of the terrible Sultan, gained from Mahomet II., 
on the field of Milodraz in 1463, the great charter of the 
Franciscans. This was the Atname} The Sultan, in this 
firnian, orders that no one shall in any way molest the 
Bosnian brothers, either in their person, or their pro- i 
perty, or their churches ; that those who have fled the 1 
realm may return, and that the brothers may bring any 
person they choose from foreign parts into the country. 
* And I swear by the great God, the creator of heaven 
and earth, by the seven books, by the great prophets, by 
the 124,000 prophets, and by the sabre which I wear, 
that no one shall act counter to these commands so long 
as these monks do my bidding and are obedient to my 

Nor need it surprise us that it was to Foinica that 
Roman and aristocratic Bosnia turned in the hour of 
need. The local history of the district is bound up with 
that of the old kings and nobles. Foinica was originally 

' This is given by Thoemmel, VHajei Bmnim, p. 92, from whom \ take 
its substance. 

en. V. • THE ' MARCIAN FAMILY.' 223 

a royal domain, and this monastery of the ' Holy Spirit 
(Sveta Dusa) in all probability owes its origin to the 
piety of the kings, whose usual residence, Sutiska, was 
not far off. From the royal race of the Tvartkos it passed 
to one of the noblest of the noble families whose shields 
we have been surveying ; to that, namely, of Mergnjavic, 
they of the Vila crest. The hereditary possessions of 
this house lay at Naissus (Nissa) in Serbia ; and coming 
from the birthplace of Constantine they modestly traced 
their descent from the fourth king of Eome ! After the 
Turkish conquest of Bosnia, some members of the family 
fled, or, as they doubtless put it to themselves, returned, 
to the Eternal City. Here one of its scions, a certain 
John Tomko, pubhshed in 1632 the family archives — 
' The Proofs of the Antiquity and Nobility of the Marcian 
Family, vulgarly known as Marnavid.' ^ Thus we possess, 
in Latin translations, some of the original deeds by which 
Foinica was given and confirmed to this Marcia gens ; 
and as they are, I suppose, the only documents of the 
kind relating to Bosnia which have been preserved, I 
may be permitted to allude to them. 

The first grant is by King Stephen Dabiscia, other- 
wise known as Tvartko II., to Goiko Mergnjavic. ' See- 
ing that when Bajazet with the Turks came and stood in 
Kaglasinci,'^ and destroyed Bosnia, then came Goiko 
Mergnjavic and helped us to slay the Turks. And I, King 
Dabiscia, was with all the province of Bosnia, and with 

^ ' Indicia vetustatis et nobilitatis familiaB Marciae vulgo Marnavitzse, 
Nissensis.' Per Joannem. Tomkum ejusdem generis collecta. RomsB typ. 
Vat. 1632. Whether this book is still attainable I know not ; its contents 
are copied as curious by Balthasar Kerselich in the seventeenth century. See 
De Reynis Dalmatice, &c. p. 295, et seq. 

2 ^In Naglasincis : ' no doubt — Nevesinje, near Mostar. See 'Historical 
Review of Bosnia.' 


the Bosnians ; and I acted in full council with all the 
province of the Bosnian realm, and gave and presented 
and conlirmed to Goiko Mergnjavic, Foinica, and the 
plain of Godalie in the territory of Imoteschi, both to 
him and his heirs, and his latest posterity for ever. 
Amen. '^ The original of this was in the old Cyrillian or 
Illyrian characters and in the Bosnian tongue.'^ 

This grant appears to have been renewed or con- 
firmed to another Mergnjavic, in consideration of ser- 
vices equally distinguished, by King Tvartko III. The 
second grant, like the other, originally written in the 
native language, runs as follows : — 

' We, Stephen Tvartko Tvartkoevic, King of Serbia, 
Bosnia, Primorie, Dalmatia, of the Western part of Lower 
Croatia, of Ussora, Sala, Podrinia, &c., with the consent 
of the realm, and according to the custom of the mag- 
nates of every grade, to the Prince John Mergnjavid, of 
Nissa, for the faithful services he rendered us in our need, 
when Murat (Amurath), the Turkish Czar, was wroth 
with us and wasted our dominions ; for that then the said 
John Mergnjavic of Nissa went to the Porte, not sparing 
his own head for our sake, and found grace for us before 
the Czar, and rid our realm from his host : we, therefore, 
grant to him his own portion at Nissa, and Zvornik, and 
Nissava, and in the realm of Bosnia the country of Foinica,^ 

' * Dedi et donavi et descripsi Goico Marnaitio, Voinicum et Godaliensem 
Campum in Imoteschio territorio prope Possussinam, et illi et illius posteri- 
tati, et postremje posteritati in ssecula sreculorum. Amen.' Posusje, near 
Imoschi, seems to be the * Possussina in territorio Imoteschio.' 

2 It was translated into Latin in 1G29, and witnessed by the Pope. To 
avoid fraud two translations of the original document were prepared, one 
by the interested Tomko, and the other by a certain Father Methodius 

* In Kerselich, * Pngus Iluonice,' n misprint for Ftunicre. 


and the land nnder Thum. And it is our will that 
this be not taken away from him for any breach of 
fealty which shall not first have been examined by the 
Bosnians and the Bosnian Church.' As witnesses appear 
the Starosts (elders) of the kingdom, the Palatine with 
his brothers, the Zupan Drhia Drinicic, the other pala- 
tines and Princes, and the Aulic marshal of the court. 
The whole is ' v/ritten by the scribe Eadoslav, Aulic of 
the great and glorious lord King Tvartko, in his residential 
seat of Sutiska, in the year 1426.' 

To this was appended the great seal of King Tvartko, 
attached by red silk : on one side appeared the king 
seated on the throne of majesty crowned and sceptred ; 
on the other as a knight on horseback, holding shield 
and lance. 

When in 1448 the great Hungarian general, John 
Hunyadi, defeated by Sultan Amurath on the ill-omened 
field of Kossovo, was seized in his flight by George, 
Despot of Serbia, and imprisoned in the fortress of 
Semendria, he owed his deliverance tp another scion of 
the race, George Mergnjavic, perpetual Count of Zvornik 
and lord of Foinica, who hurried to his rehef with a 
strong body of troops collected from his territories ; and 
a deed in which Hunyadi confirms this George in his 
possession bears witness to his gratitude. George Merg- 
njavic is succeeded by his nephew Tomko, who, besides 
being lord of Foinica, appears in the deed in which 
Hunyadi and Ladislaus, king of Hungary, confirm his 
titles, to be ' Chief Voivode of the Kingdom of Bosnia.' 
The last donation to the ' Marcian ' family is from Mathias 
Corvinus, who in 1460, six years after the overthrow of 
the Bosnian kingdom by the Turks, confirms to Tomko 


226 A LIFT IN THE KADl's CARRIAGE. ch. v. 

Mergnjavic, Magnificent Count of Zvornik, lord of Foi- 
nica, and Starost of the kingdom of Eascia, his * mills, 
mines, vineyards, fishpools, and weirs ' (aquarum decur- 
sus), of which the Ban of Slavonia was attempting to 
deprive him. 

But we must attend to the lords of modern Foinica ! 
A Zaptieh brings a message from the Kaimakam to say 
that he and the Kadi are about to drive to Kisseljak, our 
own destination, and to offer us a lift in one of their 
carriages ; so, being for many reasons anxious to push 
on, we declined the pressing invitation of the monks to 
dine and pass the night with them, and descending once 
more to the village found an araba waiting for us out- 
side a Han, where we had ordered some eatables. The 
arabk — an ordinary country waggon, only provided with 
a better harness — belonged to the Kadi, but the Kaima- 
kam had taken him into his carriage — a more sumptuous 
equipage — in order to provide room for us. We started 
therefore under good auspices, these two functionaries 
acting as our vanguard. Nor did the courtesy of the 
Turks stop here, for they had given our driver a supply 
of rosy apples and a sweet red-fleshed melon wherewith 
to serve us at intervals during the drive. About half- 
way down the Foinica valley our cortege stopped at a 
little roadside Han, where the Kaimakam motioned us to 
sit down by him on an open-air divan, canopied by 
shady branches and overhanging the stream ; and while 
he treated us to coffee and water-melon both he and our 
Kadi reaped a quiet enjoyment by extending their hospi- 
tality to some fishes below. 

The pebbles in the bed of the stream are stained of 
a rich brown and orange with the iron ore in which the 


valley abounds. On the flanks of the mountains, on 
either side, might here and there be detected huge scars 
and traces of old excavations. These are the mines of 
gold and silver worked of old by the Eomans, and later 
on by the Eagusans, but now untouched. We are in 
the very midst of the mineral treasury of Bosnia. This 
vale of Foinica contains, besides these precious metals, 
lead ore, arsenic, quarries (unworked) of slate ; and in a 
tributary gorge whichwe had seen running south-east, 
cinnabar, rich in quicksilver.^ A little lower down, just 
where the Foinica stream runs into the Lepenica, the valley 
opened out considerably and formed an alluvial plain. 
Here and there among the stunted vegetation a column 
of blue smoke marked out a rude forge, where a little 
iron, the only metal exploited, is smelted to be converted 
into shovels, horse- shoes, and sundry tools and weapons 
for Bosnian home consumption. A few miles further 
down the Lepenica debouches into the valley of the 
Bosna, which is described as one vast coal-field. 

Were we, one kept asking oneself, passing through 
what some day may become one of the Black Countries 
of Europe ? Would, as the world grew older, something 
of the tremendous energy of our Midlands burst forth 
upon this stagnant valley— blasting, boring, blackening, 
metamorphosing its every feature ? Mountains rose around 
us overgrown with primeval forest — habitations were 
few and far between. What there were, were miserable 
hovels — each in its mangy patch of maize — more ruinous 
than any we remembered having seen in Bosnia. It was 
hard to transform such into the busy streets of a great 
city — the silence of the woods seemed too inveterate 

* At the village of Dusina. " 
Q 2 


to be ever broken by the crash of a steam-hammer. 
The hornpipe performed by our waggon, over what the 
Turks were pleased to call a road, was a positive relief to 
such desolation ; and yet what stretch of imagination 
could convert it into an iron-way, or our ambling Bosnian 
pony into a locomotive ? We seemed, however, to detect 
one little omen of the future, and accepted the augury : 
at one spot the foliage of some neighbouring beech-trees 
had been browned away prematiu?ely by the fumes of a 
primitive forge. 

And why, it will reasonably be asked, is all this 
mineral wealth allowed to rust in the bosom of mother 
earth ? Are there not miners in plenty who go further 
afield than Bosnia in search for precious metals? Yes. 
But in Australia, even in California, there is something 
like civilized government. There are railways — there 
are roads ; those in authority do not look upon the suc- 
cessful digger as their natural prey. They are, at any 
rate, too canny to kill the goose with the golden egg. 

But here, not only are there natural obstacles serious 
in any country, but before any mining can be set on foot 
a long stretch of road must first be made, to be kept up 
at the expense of the projectors ; add to this, that even 
when an avenue to one of the highways of the country 
is thus opened out, it will probably be found impossible 
to conduct traffic of any magnitude along them ; and that 
there is scarcely a bridge in the country which would 
support the weight of a heavy load of ores. 

But even were these obstacles overcome, there are 
others of a political nature fatal at the very outset to 
such enterprises. To take a single instance. Over the 
hills to the soutli-east of Foinica, near the Franciscan 

CH. V. 


monastery of Kresevo, are veins of cinnabar and quick- 
silver, which have been estimated to be as rich as any 
in Europe. So rich in fact are they, that a German 
company were tempted to beheve that, despite the ex- 
penses of prehminary road-making and outlay of another 
kind, it might pay to work them. But a concession must 
first be obtained at Stamboul, and nothing can be ob- 
tained at that sink of all human corruption without 
copious bribery. The company began in good spirits; 
they made first one ' present ' and then another ; but 
months passed, the demands of the Sultan's ' advisers ' 
grew more and more exorbitant, and the prospect of 
obtaining the required permission more remote, till, 
seeing themselves in a fair way to be ruined before they 
could begin, they gave up their enterprise as hopeless. 
Precisely the same causes have prevented the working of 
the vast coal measures of the Bosna ! 

There is one remarkable phenomenon in connection 
with these ore- bearing districts, which must strike any- 
one who examines the distribution of population in Bos- 
nia ; and that is, that these former centres of "mining 
activity are at the present day the strongholds of the 
Eoman Catholic population of the country. 

Can it be merely accidental that three of the chief 
Eoman Catholic monasteries in the country — Foinica, 
Kresevo, and Sutiska — are each placed in the very focus 
of the richest mineral areas in the province? ^ 

^ Guciagora, which is the centre of another Roman Catholic district, 
may he added to these. The waters of the Lasva, which runs through this 
neighbourhood, contain gold, for which its sands were formerly washed. 
But I noticed another trace of Ragusan mining influence in the name of the 
spur of Mt. Vlasic, which overlooks the monastery. This is called Mt. 
Mossor. a name friven in the Dalmatian coast-lands to mountains where jrold 


No, surely, it is not fortuitous. It is rather the re- 
sult of a chain of causes, reaching far back into the past, 
and which, if I read them rightly, are explanatory of 
much that is most characteristic and least intelligible in 
Bosnian history. Stated baldly, I cannot doubt that the 
presence of the Catholic population and their monastic 
seats in the mining districts of Bosnia is ultimately due 
to the Eoman conquest, or — if we may single out a man — 
to Q. Asinius Polho. 

Cui laurus eeternoe honores 
Dftlmatico peperit triumpho. 

There seems no good reason for doubting that many of 
these deserted mines, such as those that scar the moun- 
tain sides about Foinica, were the work of Eoman miners. 
A Eoman road, for example, has been traced almost to 
the western foot of this range, connecting it with Dal- 
matia. In the time of the Eomans no less than 50 lbs. 
of gold was turned out daily by these Illyrian miners, and 
despatched to Eome by the Provost of the Dalmatian 
treasury ^ at Salona. 

When the Nations possessed themselves of the West- 
ern Empire, Epidaurus and the Dalmatian cities still con- 
tinued to be islands of pure Romanity ; and besides their 
Eoman municipal institutions and their ecclesiastical con- 
nection with Eome, these cities may also have preserved 
some record of these inland deposits of precious metals, 
and some knowledge of where to look for them. This, 
at least, is certain, that when the Epidauran republic lived 
again at Eagusa, her sons sought out the vestiges of the 

existed, and which will recall the Mossor that rises above Almissa in Dal- 
Matia. The derivation is simply * Mona Anri,^ the gold mountain, 
' l*rflcpoeitU8 Thes^urorum Dalmaticorum. 

CH. T. 


older Eoman mines of Illyria, and opened them out anew, 
so that the former scenes of Eoman industry became the 
chief commercial centres in these barbarous lands. Nor 
would Eagusa fail to play her allotted part of interpreter 
between Eome and the southern Sclaves. It is not to be 
wondered at that in these neighbourhoods Christianity 
of a purely Eoman character should have taken root : 
and in the days of heresy this connection with Catholic 
Eagusa would perpetually keep alive influences favour- 
able to the Church. 

We can well understand that the superior civilization 
and wealth of these mining districts would react on the 
indigenous nobility. Doubtless many noble families actu- 
ally owed their position to wealth acquired from a mine 
opened on their lands by these enterprising traders. 
Many would naturally draw round these small civilised 
centres. To this Eagusan influence I would therefore 
refer, not only the peculiarly Eoman Catholic character 
of the population of these mining districts, but also much 
of the Eoman sympathies of the ruling caste. Thus it is 
not only the Eoman Catholic monasteries that are found 
in connection with the scenes of old Eagusan activity, 
but also the favourite residences of the Bosnian kings ; 
so that in the neighbourhood of the chief Eagusan 
castle and trading settlement — called Dubrovnik, after 
the Sclavonic name of the mother city — rose both the 
monastery of Sutiska, and the old town of Bobovac, 
where the Tvartkos once sate in majesty. They are over 
the hills, to the north-east of Foinica. 

Nor is this far-reaching concatenation of causes and 
effects without its bearings on the future as well. 

If in the course of time Bosnia should enter once 

232 A BOSNIAN SPA. gh. v. 

more into the civilised system of Europe—if these now 
unused mines were to be opened out anew, it must be evi- 
dent tliat such an industrial development would once more 
place the chief wealth, and therefore the chief influence, 
in the country in the hands of the Eoman Catholic 
minority; in other words, in the hands of the only 
portion of the inhabitants who at the present day still 
treasure the memories ^ of the old Bosnian kingdom. 

But we are entering Kisseljak, and stop at what is 
unquestionably the best hotel in Bosnia, and where, for 
the first time since our arrival in the country, we ob- 
tain — beds! Kisseljak is in fact the fashionable Bosnian 
Spa. Just outside our hostelry, under a kiosque, bubble 
up the waters celebrated throughout the length and 

breadth of the land. ' In taste,' as L remarked, ' it is 

like flat seltzer- water with a soupcon of flat-irons.' Mixed, 
however, with red coinica wine, it becomes a livelier, and, 
as we thought, a very agreeable beverage. It is said to 
be very good for complaints of stomach and liver ; and 
quite a colony had collected in the neighbourhood of the 
sources, not only to drink the waters, but to bathe in 
them — certain sheds containing wooden baths being built 
for the latter purpose. The wealthier people, who were 
chiefly Spanish-speaking Jews from Serajevo, were lodged 
at the almost Eiu-opean hotels ; the other ranks of society 
sheltering themselves, according to their means, in hum- 
bler abodes, and the poorest of all camping about the 
valley like gipsies. 

' The Serbs or members of the Greek Church are most imbued with 
patriotic ideas, it is true ; but these aim rather at a re-establishment of a 
Serbian Empire, or a Democratic government of some kind, with, or with- 
out, a princely figure-head. The Provincially historic party are the Roman 
Catholics, or rather their instructors, the monks. 


It was while drinking the waters that we first became 
the recipients of tidings which, in our then position, 
might be considered somewhat sensational, which were 
calculated to cast a new hght on some of our recent 
experiences, and which may fitly open a new chapter of 
our pilgrimage. 




Outbreak of the Insurrection in Bosnia — Roadside Precautions aj^ainst 
Brigrands — Panorama of Serajevsko Polje — Roman Bas-Relief of Cupid — 
Roman Remains in Bosnia — Banja and Balnea — ' The Damascus of the 
North ' : first Sight of Serajevo — Her History and Municipal Govern- 
ment — Fall of the Janissaries — Dangerous Spirit of the Mahometan Popu- 
lation of Serajevo — Outbreak of Moslem Fanaticism here on building of 
the new Serbian Cathedral — We enter the City through smouldering 
Ruins — Hospitable Reception at English Consulate — Great Fire in Sera- 
jevo — Consternation of the Pasha — Panic among the Christians — 
Missionaries of Culture : two English Ladies — Causes of the Insur- 
rection in Bosnia : the Tax-farmers : Rayahs tortured by Turks — 
* Smoking ' — The Outbreak in Lower Bosnia — Paralysis of the Govern- 
ment, and Mahometan Counter-Revolution — Conjuration of Leading 
Fanatics in the Great Mosque — We are accused before the Pasha by 
forty Turks— Consular Protection — The Fanariote Metropolitan and 
Bishops of Bosnia — Their boundless Rapacity, and Oppression of the 
Rayah — A Bosnian Bath — Mosques and Cloth-hall of Serajevo— Types 
of the Population — Spanish Jews, and Pravoslave Merchants — Bosnian 
Ideas of l^auty ! — Opposition of Christians to Culture — Extraordinary 
Proceedings of the Board of Health — The Zaptiehs — Continuance of the 
Panic — Portentous Atmospheric Phenomenon — The Beginning of the 

While we were engaged in quaffing the sparkling draughts 
of nature under the kiosque, up came a young Hungarian, 
and asked us whether we had heard the news. On our 
confessing ignorance, he informed us that a revokition 
had broken out in Bosnia — or rather several dozens of 
them; that a rising of rayahs had taken place near 
Banjaluka, and along the Save ; and that this had been 
followed by a counter-rising in the Mahometan towns 
and villages — and that esjiecially the district about Der- 


vent, tlirougli which we had passed, was plunged in civil 
war. Vague rumours of other outbreaks at Taslidzje, 
Priepolje, and near ^N'ovipazar, had just come in ; and, 
from the localities of the risings, both in north and south, 
this much was certain, that if the insurgents were suc- 
cessful, the only highways connecting Bosnia with the 
rest of Turkey and the Save provinces of Austria were 
cut off: while, from the sudden departure of the Pasha 
of Bosnia for the Herzegovina, it seemed not unlikely 
that communication with Dalmatia was equally threat- 
ened. But for details we had to wait till we reached 
the capital, though we found the Hungarian's account 
trustworthy so far as it went. 

Aug. 21. — From the same informant I learnt that in a 
copse near here were some monuments, locally known as 
the ' Eoman Stones,' to the investigation of which I de- 
voted the morning grey before we started for Serajevo. 
The stones proved to be of the same character as those 
already described at Podove — of the usual tea-caddy 
shape — uninscribed, and even more devoid of ornament 
than those w^e had seen before. There were several of 
them scattered among the brushwood on a slight rise of 
the ground. 

In the first part of our journey to Serajevo there was 
little remarkable. As we ascended the pass between the 
Kobilaglava and Bulalovic ranges, we noticed the forest 
cut away for a hundred yards or so on either side of the 
high road ; this was done for the safety of travellers, 
these mountains having formerly been a nest of robbers. 
The same precaution used to be taken in England in the 
good old days. In the Statute of Winchester, Edward I. 
devotes a whole clause to enjoining the ' abatement ' of 


the cover by the side of the highways : '* It is com- 
manded that highways leading from one market town 
to another shall be enlarged wheresoever bushes, woods, 
or dykes be, so that there be neither dyke, tree, nor 
bush whereby a man may lurk to do hurt, within two 
hundred foot of the one side, and two hundred foot of 
the other side of the way ; so that this statute shall not 
extend unto oaks nor unto great trees, so that it shall be 
clear underneath. And if by default of the lord that will 
not abate the dykes, underwood, or bushes, any robberies 
be done therein, the lord shall be answerable for the 
felony ; and if murder be done, the lord shall make a fine 
at the king's pleasure.' ^ The traveller in Bosnia is still 
in the Middle Ages ! 

Having gained the summit of the mountain saddle, 
we began to descend towards the Serajevsko Polje — the 
Plain of Serajevo — a level expanse shut in on every side 
by mountains, and looking like the former bed of a large 
lake. The Alpine amphitheatre was exquisite. One peak, 
loftier than the rest, had been girdled by a silvery 
sea of mist, above which loomed its limestone upper 
nakedness, draped in a Coan veil of aerial azure — the 
island of a mirage, or one of those barren-beautiful 
Scoglie that start ever and anon from the slumbering 
bosom of the Adriatic ! The heat was suffocating, and a 
sultry haze seemed to flood the whole surface of the plain 
and lower mountain-flanks, volatilizing every object in 
an atmosphere lialf dusty, half lurid ; and, with the faint, 
languid tints of the surrounding heights, recalling to 

^ See, for the original French, Stubbs' Select Chartei's, p. 461. I have 
followed Professor Stubbs' translation, substituting only ' wheresoever ' for 
* whereas.' 

CH. VI. 



memory pictures of Eastern scenery — but nothing within 
our own experience. 

Near the spot where this fine panorama first opened out 
we came to a small roadside Han, called Blazui, where 
we obtained welcome refreshments in the shape of cofiee 
and boiled eggs ; a little bread we had luckily brought 
with us. While waiting for these dehcacies, we passed 
our time in closely examining some old stone blocks which 
formed the basement of the wooden buildings about, in 
hopes of finding perchance a Eoman inscription or some 
other relic of antiquity. Our desires were presently gra- 
tified almost beyond expectation by the discovery of a 
Eoman monument walled into an old stone cistern, which 
acted as sub-structure for a hen- 
roost. It was a bas-relief of 
Cupid, standing, apparently, on 
a foliated capital, cross-legged, 
and leaning on a torch, which 
he is thus extinguishing. It has 
suffered, as can be seen in the 
rough sketch opposite, from the 
iconoclasm of ages. Christian 
and Mahometan ; yet a tutored 
eye could still trace the elegant 
outlines. A severe critic might 
condemn the art ; but, though 
falling short of Hellenic pu- 
rity, it was such as these benighted midlands of Illyria 
have not seen the hke of since the days when this 
was sculptured. But the delicacy of the conception 
allows us to overlook the execution.. The monument is 
sepulchral, of a kinc] not uncommon among the Eomans, 

Bas-relief of Cupid. 

238 ANCIENT IDEAS OP DEATH. ' en. vi. 

but chiefly raised to the memory of those who passed 
away in the youth and vigour of their days.^ The 
thoughts are turned from the unknown and the ghastly 
to the memory of the beautiful and the known. Via;{t — 
he has lived. The torch of festal trippings has become the 
staff for his repose : the light of love is put out : the 
great darkness is upon him : nox est perpetua una dor- 
mienda. It may foreshadow annihilation, but, at least, 
it calls up no bony phantoms of con-uption. This muti- 
lated, one-winged genius is indeed the emanation of ages 
of refinement, set forth by the most exquisite symbolism 
of ancient art. Here, truly, amidst dull and barbarous 
lands, was roadside refection, spiritually, not less refresh- 
ing than were the fragrant cups of mocha to those 
parched by a well-nigh Arabian sun ! 

It does not seem that any Eoman remains had been 
discovered in this immediate neighbourhood beiore,^ 
though the appearance of some of the other blocks of 
masonry made it probable that this was not the only 

* To such a conclusion I am led by an examination of several similar 
monuments given in Moutfaucon — VAntiquite Expliquee. A monument of 
this kind is alluded to by Isaac Disraeli ( Curiosities of Literature) in ' The 
Skeleton of Death,' where the contrast between the Clasisical and Mediaeval 
representations of death is drawn out. 

* Dr. Blau (formerly Prussian Consul at Serajevo), who has worked at 
the Roman remains in Bosnia, does not mention any in this vicinity, and 
even thinks it worthy of mention that he could hear of no Iloman remains 
near Illidzje. See papers in Monatshericht der k. preuss. Acad, der Wis- 
sensch. Dec. 1866, Nov. 1867, and Aug. 1870. Dr. Blau has especially 
explored the remains at Taslidzje or Plevlje (about half way between Sera- 
jevo and Novipazar), where he has discovered twenty inscriptions and other 
antique fragments. The existence of a Iloman Municipium here is shown 
by two monuments — one recording a decree of the Decttriones; another 
mentioning the Duumviri, On these and other Bosnian inscriptions one can 
trace the development of a kind of Illyrian Romance dialect. Masimile 
appears for Maxi?nillce, Amavilis for Amabilis, and another reads Hlie 


classic monument concealed in the foundations of the 
Mahometan Han and its out-buildings. One would, in- 
deed, expect to find Eoman remains in this vicinity, not 
only from the fact that in the neighbouring mountains 
about Foinica, and again to the east about Yares, are 
traces of Eoman gold-mines, and that a Eoman road has 
been traced tending from Salona towards these centres 
of mineral wealth ; but for another and still more cogent 
reason. This is the presence of hot-springs, which we 
passed to the right of us only a little way further on the 
road, at a place called lUidzje. The Eomans, with their 
usual instincts, tracked out these natural baths among 
the Illyrian wilds ; and Eoman remains in Bosnia, when 
not connected with mining enterprise, seem especially 
to centre round such spas. At Novipazar,^ in the province 
of Eascia, the sulphur springs still bubble up into an 
octagonal marble basin near eight yards in diameter, 
described as of Eoman workmanship, and are still shel- 
tered from the elements by an octagonal chamber, sup- 
porting a cupola, which also dates from the days of the 
Caesars. At Banjaluka^ on the Verbas the hot-springs 
are still housed in a similar edifice ; and the curious may 
survey modern Mahometans taking their enjoyment in 
one of these very baths which have supplied the pro- 
totype of the early Christian baptistery. The name of 
Banjaluka^ itself preserves a Eoman element. Ban] a being 
no other than the Latin balnea. The Sclavonic settlers 
borrowed the word from the earlier Eoman population 
of these lands — thus witnessing to the purely Eoman 

1 The Roman baths at Novipazar are briefly described by Iloskiewi(?, 
op. cit. p. 75. 

2 Dr. Blau identifies Banjaluka with the Roman station ad ladios. 
^ Banjaluka = Luke's bath. 

240 BALXEA AND BANJA. ch. vi. 

associations of such spas ; and so completely has the word 
passed into their language that Banja at the present day 
is applied by the Southern Sclaves to all hot-springs and 
baths. But though not necessarily, therefore, proof posi- 
tive of a Eoman connection, this derivative, when apphed 
to local names, may perhaps afford presumptive evidence 
that the virtues of such spots were not unknown to the 
Eomans. It is at least worth noticing that the thermal 
springs at Illidzje, not far from the place where we found, 
the bas-rehef of Cupid, are still known to the Bosniacs as 
' Banja.' 

We now descended into the plain, passing the sources 
of the Bosna, not far distant, on our left. The river from 
which this whole country derives its name takes its origin 
from a number of small streams which, gushing forth 
from the limestone slope of Mt. Igman, unite almost im- 
mediately to form a full-volumed river of crystal purity, 
some fifty yards in breadth — an Illyrian Timavus. We 
crossed this new-born river by a wooden bridge of a 
form, if possible, more Eoman than ordinary, and nearing 
the capital descried several country houses of Turkish 
dignitaries, embosomed in their shady gardens. Once or 
twice we met arabas of state containing Mahometan 
ladies, screened from the vulgar gaze by a brilliant scar- 
let canopy supported by four posts ; but feminine curi- 
osity prompted them to lift up the corners of the drapery 
that they might observe the Giaour ; and we should have 
seen more of their faces had they not been veiled as well 
as curtained ! 

But a turn in the road reveals to us the Damascus 
of the North— for such is the majestic title by which the 
]3osniac Turks, who consider it, after Stamboul, the finest 


city in Turkey-in-Europe, delight to style Serajevo. Seen, 
indeed, from above, in an atmosphere which the Bosniac 
historian has not inaptly compared to that of Misr and 
Sham,^ it might well call up the pearl and emerald set- 
tings of Oriental imagery.^ The city is a vast garden, 
from amidst whose foliage swell the domes and cupolas 
of mosques and baths ; loftier still, rises the new Serbian 
Cathedral ; and lancing upwards, as to tourney with the 
sky, near a hundred minarets. The airy height to the 
East, sceptred with these slender spires of Islam and 
turret-crowned with the Turkish fortress (raised originally 
by the first Vizier of Bosnia on the site of the older 
' Grad ' of Bosnian princes), commands the rest of the 
city, and marks the domination of the infidel. Around 
it clusters the upper-town, populated exclusively by the 
ruhng caste ; but the bulk of the city occupies a narrow 
flat amidst the hills, cut in twain by the little river 
Miljaska, and united by three stone and four wooden 
bridges. Around this arena, tier above tier — at first 
wooded hills, then rugged limestone precipices — rises a 
splendid amphitheatre of mountains culminating in the 
peak of Trebovid, which frowns over 3,000 feet above the 
city — herself near 1,800 above sea-level. 

The first beginnings of Serajevo, or Bosna as it was 
formerly called, are said to have been due to the mining 
enterprise of the Eagusans in the neighbouring moun- 
tains;^ but though in 1236 (after the destruction of 
Milesevo by the Patarenes) it was made the seat of the 

1 Omer Effendi, of Novi, compares the climate of Bosnia to that of Misr 

and Sham (Egypt and Syria). Op. cit. p. 85. 

^ Damascus is described by Easterns as ' a pearl set round with emeralds.' 
^ Engel, (jfeschichte des Freistaates Rayusa. See Roskievic, p. 175. The 

Eagusans worked mines in Mt. Jagodina, where the present Turkish citadel 

of Serajevo is. Traces of these are still to be seen. 



Eoman Catholic bishops, it appears to have been httle 
more than a stronghold till the year 1463, when it finally 
fell into the possession of the Turks. It was in the year 
succeeding this event that the present town was founded 
by the two Bosnian magnates, Sokolovic, and Zlatarovic, 
who claim the doubtful honour of having been the first of 
the native nobility to renegade to Islarn ; and the Serai on 
the hill was shortly after erected, and the upper town 
walled, by Khosrev Pasha, first Vizier of Bosnia. It was 
from this Serai or fortress that the town began to be 
called Bosna Serai, and finally, by the Sclaves, Serajevo. 
That it early attained to some majesty is shown by the fact 
that it was given by Grand Signiors as a dowry to widowed 
Sultanas ; and early in the sixteenth century our English 
traveller, Blunt, though he describes it as ' but meanely 
built and not great,' yet reckons here ' about four-score 
Mescheetoes and twenty thousand houses.'^ When Prince 
Eugene, during his twenty days' dash into Bosnia in 
1697, penetrated to the capital, he found the upper town 
so strong that, despairing of reducing it by a siege with 
the small means at his disposal, he contented himself 
with burning the lower town, and rode back to the Save. 
His chroniclers estimate the population of Serajevo at 
30,000, and set down the houses and mosques then des- 
troyed by the Imperialists as six thousand and a hundred 
and fifty respectively.^ In the middle of the next century 
the monks who supplied the author of ' Illyricum Sacrum ' 
with an account of ' the present state of Bosnia,' speak of 
the Serai as being, though a decayed city, the * seat of 
Turkish commerce and the most renowned staple of the 

' Blunt, Voi/ftf/fi into the Levauf, p. 8. Anno 1634. 
* Eugenii Ileidrufhnfcu^ cited in Spicilegpium, &c. 


Serajevo early became the head-quarters of the Bos- 
nian Janissaries. That in the seventeenth century it was 
hardly an-ehgible place for a Giaour to find himself in, 
may be gathered from our English traveller's relation. 
Blunt is setting out for ' Saraih,' as he calls the city, 
' with the Bashaw of Bosnah, his troopes going for the 
warre of Poland,' and his account gives a very pretty 
picture of the military turbulence that must then have 
reigned within the walls. The soldiers, it appears, were 
' spirited many with drinke, discontent, and insolency : 
which made them fitter companie for the Divell then for 
a Christian ; my selfe after many launces, and knives 
threatned upon me, was invaded by a drunken Janizary, 
whose iron Mace entangled in his other furniture gave 
mee time to flee among the Eocks, whereby I escaped 

But the Janissaries who ruled the roast at the Serai 
were something more than a turbulent rabble of bravoes. 
They were Sclaves, descendants, most, of the ruhng 
families of the older Bosnian kingdom. They spoke the 
native tongue. They were imbued with provincial patrio- 
tism. They were in close alliance with the haughty 
provincial aristocracy, who perpetuated feudahsm under 
a Mahometan guise. These Sclavonic Janissaries refused 
to take to the celibacy and barrack-life of their order. 
They took wives. They became landed proprietors. They 
even settled down to mercantile pursuits. Thus, with 
their participation and patronage, Bosna Serai, the chosen 
seat of the Bosnian nobility, the Camp of her Prastorians, 
acquired rights and immunities which made her a Free 

Nothing in this curious history is more interesting to 

B 2 


observe than the way in which the primitive institutions 
of Sclavonic family hfe assert themselves in this municipal 
constitution. The Civic Communism — I use the word in 
its uncorrupted sense — grows out of the domestic. Just as 
the Bosnian family communities elected, and still elect, 
their elders, so now the families who owned the surround- 
ing lands were represented by a hereditary Siaresina ; and 
the artisans and merchants bound themselves into Bratsva 
or brotherhoods, each guild electing its Starost or alder- 
man. Thus arose a civic government, based on the pos- 
session of real property and prosperity in trade. ^ 

Enjoying such a municipal constitution, actively pro- 
tected by the Janissaries at Stamboul, the Serai rose to 
an almost sovereign position in Bosnia. So jealous was 
its senate of its privileges, and so irresistible its authority, 
that it actually established a municipal law by which the 
Vizier of Bosnia was forbidden to tarry more than a day 
at a time within the city walls. For a single night he was 
entertained at the public expense ; next morning he was 
escorted without the gates. Even in the exercise of his 
shadowy authority at Travnik, the Sultan's lieutenant 
stood in perpetual fear of the patriarchs of the real 
capital ; for if he presumed to offend these haughty 
elders, they had but to lodge a complaint against him 
with the Odjak of the Janissaries at Stamboul, and the 
Vizier was forthwith recalled. The Porte, indeed, en- 
deavoured to assert its sovereignty within the city by 
appointing two officers to decide disputes between Mos- 
lems and Eayahs, but the citizens retained the right of 
dismissing these at tlieir pleasure. 

» See Ranke*8 Bomia, cIj. 1, and especially- * The Danuhian Prtti' 
cipnlitiet,' vol. ii. p. 845. 


Thus Serajevo was the mouthpiece of the old Scla- 
vonic national feeling of Bosnia, as it survived in a 
Mahometan guise — the acknowledged protectress of pro- 
vincial interests against the hated Osmanli. Bosnia had 
changed her creed, but she clung to her independence ; 
and when, at the beginning of the present century. Sultan 
Mahmoud II. thought to stamp out provincial liberties in 
Bosnia as elsewhere, it was the Serai that took the lead 
in opposition. When the Janissaries were extinguished at 
Stamboul, their tall ovoid turbans, the gold and imperial 
green, still flaunted themselves unchallenged in the streets 
of Serajevo. The citadel on the height was their last refuge. 
It was, however, successfully stormed by the Vizier, and 
Serajevo was given over to the tender mercies of the 
Sultan's officer. A terrible vengeance was wreaked, 
and more than a hundred of the leading citizens were 
proscribed and executed. The Vizier took up his resi- 
dence triumphantly in the fortress, but the reign of the 
Osmanli lasted only a few months. In July 1828 the 
citizens of Serajevo, aided by those of Visoko, rose 
desperately against the oppressor. A street fight fol- 
lowed, which lasted three days. The Vizier, who upheld 
his authority with a garrison near 2,000 strong, made an 
obstinate resistance, but the imperial troops were gradu- 
ally beaten back from house to house, from mosque to 
mosque, till, fairly overmastered, the Sultan's lieutenant 
was glad to escape with his Hfe and the shattered rem- 
nant of his troops. A few years later Serajevo again 
fell into the hands of the destroyer of the Janissaries. 
But in the Bosnian rebeUion of 1850 the citizens once 
more flew to arms. For a while they made themselves 
masters of the Vizier's fortress on the height, but finally 


succumbed to Ali Pashk ; and the municipal independ- 
ence of Serajevo shared the ruin of feudahsm throughout 
Bosnia. The true capital of Bosnia has since been the 
seat of the Turkish Governor of the Vilajet. 

But though Serajevo herself has degenerated into the 
chef -lieu of a ' circle '—though an alien bureaucracy has 
succeeded the patriarchal sway of her own landowners 
and merchants-^though Giaour-Sultans and ' New Turks ' 
from Stamboul — -those muck-rakes of mendicant state- 
craft who filch their political tinsel from the gutters of 
the boulevards ! — have replaced her native Agas and elders 
by an Osmanli ' Prefet^ with the same apish levity with 
which these same gentry toss aside the jewelled amber 
of their forefathers for a Parisian cigarette I^r-neverthe- 
less, despite of all these tinkering experiments in centrali- 
zation of which they have been made the corpus vile, the 
citi2;ens of this old stronghold of provincial liberties have 
only clung with warmer attachment to the ' true green ' of 
Bosnian Toryism, Only what they can no longer practise 
in politics they parade in religion, and Serajevo remains 
more than ever the focus of the Mahometan fanaticism of 
Bosnia. This was the danger of tlie present moment, and 
gave but too valid grounds for the wide-spread appre- 
hension among the Bosnian rayahs that the outbreak of 
the revolt might provoke the bigots of the capital to a 
general massacre of the Christian minority there ; and 
that the Damascus of the North might, as she had already 
threatened a year or two ago on a less provocation, re- 
produce the bloody scenes which have made her Syrian 
namesake a word of terror to the Christians of Turkey. 

This is what happened here only three years ago, as 
we heard the story from those who played a distinguished 


part in averting the impending catastrophe ; nor can any- 
thing give a better idea of the dangerous spirit abroad 
among the Moslem population of Serajevo. 

The new orthodox cathedral, which now forms the 
most prominent object in the city, was begun a few years 
ago by the Serb or Greek Church here, on a scale which 
seemed to make it a direct challenge to the Mahometan 
part of the population. The presence of the consular 
body in the town made it possible for the Christians to 
take advantage of the right of church-building accorded 
by Firmans of the Grand Signior, and accordingly the 
work proceeded without any interference. But the 
Christians were not content with the permission to build 
a church in the most conspicuous position in one of the 
main streets of the city, but must needs rear a preten- 
tious pile which should throw into the shade the biggest 
of the two hundred and odd mosques with which 
Mahometan piety has adorned the Serai. No expense 
was spared, and the total outlay reached, so we were 
credibly informed, the (for this country) enormous sum 
of £13,000, exclusive of the costly icons and other 
church-furniture presented by the Emperor of Eussia. 
A swaggering edifice — all of stone — built in the usual 
bastard Byzantine taste of the Fanariote hierarchy, and 
of which the worst that can be said is that it is worthy 
of its patrons — began to raise itself above the neighbour- 
ing house-tops, and at last contemptuously looked down 
on the dome of the Imperial Mosque itself— the Dzamia 
of Sultan Mahommed ! It was perhaps hardly to be 
expected that the ignorant Moslem fanatics should view 
with equanimity this last manifestation of Christian 


What, however, seems especially to have stuck in 
their throats, was the design of hanging bells in the 
cathedral tower. It is strange the animosity which such 
an apparently harmless sound as that of a church bell 
has always excited in the bosoms of those hostile to the 
Christian faith. Those of us who have Norse blood run- 
ning in their veins may remember that their heathen 
ancestors showed just the same vehement repugnance 
to the tintinnabulation of too officious missionaries. 
Perhaps in a Mahometan country it may be feared by 
the faithful that the infidel clangour might drown the 
prayers of the muezzin on neighbouring minarets ; per- 
haps the renegade population of Bosnia have inherited 
something of the prejudice that led their Bogomilian fore- 
fathers to regard Church bells as ' Devil's trumpets ' ! But 
this, at least, is certain, that in Bosnia there are few 
Christian churches where any other summons to the con- 
gregation is allowed than that of a wooden clapper ; and 
that to hang bells in a centre of Moslem fanaticism like 
Serajevo was a deliberate and wanton provocation. 

The plain English of the matter is that the Christians 
of Serajevo, relying on consular pt-otection, saw in the 
erection of this new church a fine opportunity for wiping 
off the scores of ancient insults against the Mahome- 
tans. It was quite natural that they should do so. But 
it was also natural that the Moslems should refuse to 
pocket the insult. The ringleaders of fanaticism in the 
city took up the gauntlet tlms thrown down, and some 
time before the day of the opening ceremony it oozed 
out tliat a Mahometan conspiracy was afoot by which 
short work would be made of the unbehevers and their 
conventicle together. The irtdofinite multiplication of 


evil passions caused by ecclesiastical wrong-headedness 
had brought matters to such a pass, that Easter Day — 
the date of the opening ceremony — might have proved a 
second St. Bartholomew's for the Christian minority of 

Happily, at this crisis, the consular body stepped in. 
Mr. Holmes, our representative — who took a prominent 
and worthy part in averting the bloodshed — and the other 
Consuls, informed the Pasha of the imminence of the 
danger, and unfolded to him the existence of a Mahome- 
tan conspiracy. The Pasha sent some of the ringleaders 
out of the country, made the leading Moslems respon- 
sible for the preservation of order, and finally persuaded 
the Christians to forego the bell-ringing. As it was, the 
opening ceremony took place under the protection of 
Turkish arms. The city w^as placed in a state of siege. 
Por three days previously all the wdne-shops in the town 
had been closed by order of the authorities. The troops 
were held in barracks under arms. At intervals along 
the streets trumpeters were stationed to give the earliest 
alarm ; and, in fine, such precautions were taken as pre- 
vented any actual disturbance of the peace. 

It was not without some vague misgivings that we 
now found ourselves entering the streets of this metro- 
polis of fanaticism. But the sight which presently broke 
on us, on turning a corner into the main street, was such 
as might well convince us that the worst forebodings of the 
Bosnian Christians had come true. We had emerged on 
the scene of a great fire which had destroyed one entire 
side of the street, so that we were obliged to pick our 
way among black and smouldering debris, through which 
a party of Turks were engaged in clearing a path. They, 



however, seemed peaceable enough, and we were further 
relieved by seeing the cupola of the Serbian cathedral 
rising unscathed on the other side of the way. 

We presently met a consular Cavass, who politely 
conducted us to the English Consulate, situate on the 
other side of the Httle river Miljaska, which we crossed 
by a stone bridge. Our Consul was away, having mi- 
grated to Mostar in order to be nearer the centre of the 
disturbances in the Herzegovina ; but we were hospitably 
taken in by his amiable daughters, and Mr. Freeman, his 
charge d'affaires ; and found ourselves, after our long 
course of roughing, once more among the comforts of an 
English home, and surrounded by the quiet of an Eng- 
lish garden. Here, in this rich soil, under this Eastern 
sky, we saw for the first time in Bosnia our familiar 
flowers — roses, verbenas, and petunias, and others equally 
deUcious — scenting the air, and making us realise what 
a paradise this land might become in civilized hands. 
The fruit-trees — the stock of which Mr. Holmes, who has 
great horticultural taste, had imported from Malta — were 
weighed down with an exuberant crop of plums, peaches, 
greengages, and apples, each of which would have secured 
a prize at a show ; and this though from the shallow- 
ness of the soil these trees only flourish for a time. 
Contrast with these the miserable plums, pears, and 
apples obtainable in the native markets of Serajevo! 
The Bosniacs show themselves absolutely incapable of 
pomiculture ; they plant their fruit-trees almost as close 
together as cabbages, and expect them to thrive. Our 
Consul produced magnificent peaclies by simply planting 
the miserable Bosnian substitute properly. 

We found that afTuirs here had taken a very serious 


turn. On Saturday last Dervish Pashk, the Yah or 
Governor-General of Bosnia, had left to take the com- 
mand in Herzegovina, where the revolt was making head. 
On Sunday — this country being now left without any 
competent head — the revolt broke out in Bosnia. The 
news, as may be imagined, produced great excitement 
here, and threw the Christian minority into a state verg- 
ing on consternation. The old rumours of an approach- 
ing massacre once more gained credence. But the panic 
became universal last night, when flames were observed 
rising from the immediate neighbourhood of the new 
cathedral, and in the centre of the Christian quarter, 
amongst houses inhabited by the leading Christian 
merchants. The Governor, Hussein Pasha, by repute 
a weak and incapable man, hearing the guns and 
cannon — which are here the usual iire-signals — and 
seeing the conflagration, at once jumped to the conclu- 
sion that the anticipated outbreak was beginning ; and 
instead of sending the troops — who in Serajevo supply 
the place of a fire-brigade — to put out the fire, kept 
them in barracks waiting for the light to reveal the 
supposed disturbers of the peace. Thus the fire — which 
in its origin was, as we learnt from the most authentic 
source, purely accidental, and so far from being the work 
of a Moslem fanatic, had actually originated in the house 
of a well-known Mahometan, a renegade detested by the 
Christians — was allowed to spread, and fifteen houses in 
the most flourishing quarter of Serajevo were reduced to 
ashes before the Pashk could be undeceived, or proper 
measures be taken to bring the flames under. The danger 
to the whole city was imminent, the houses being mostly 
of wood and plaster ; and, indeed, Serajevo had been pre- 


viously burnt down on four several occasions. Perhaps 
the motives which induced the Mahometans to lend active 
help to the Christians in conquering the flames were not 
altogether disinterested. 

Meanwhile, from the unfortunate quarter in which 
the conflagration had arisen, and from the electric state 
of the political atmosphere, it lay in the very nature of 
things that the origin of the disaster should be misre- 
presented, and that the majority of the Christian popu- 
lation took it for granted that it was the work of Moslem 
spite. Thus a purely accidental circumstance had added 
fuel to the general uneasiness, and to-day a panic pre- 
vailed among the Christians of Serajevo. 

From the English Consulate, where we are now 
lodged, we hastened to pay our respects to two English 
ladies whose acquaintance we had already had the good 
fortune to make on the Save, and who are prosecuting a 
work in Bosnia of which their own countiy may well be 
proud, and for which a more civilised Bosnia may here- 
after be grateful. Some years ago Miss Irby first travelled 
through many of the wildest parts of Turkey in Europe 
in company with Miss Muir Mackenzie, and the book 
composed by these two ladies on the Sclavonic Provinces 
of Turkey is well known to all Englishmen who take an 
interest in those neglected lands and their down-trodden 
Sclavonic cousins. But Miss Irby, with the practical 
spirit of her race, was not content with acquainting the 
world with the lamentable condition of the Serbian 
people under the Turkish yoke, but set herself to work 
to remedy these evils. It was the backward state of 
education among the rayah women of even the better 


classes which struck her as one of tlie peculiar obstacles 
in the way of national progress, and it was this which she 
resolved to overcome. In 1865 Miss Irby settled in Sera- 
jevo, and since that date she and a fellow-labourer, Miss 
Johnston, have devoted their lives to a propaganda of 
culture among the Bosnian Christian women. Nothing 
in their efforts has been more conspicuous than their 
good sense. As the best way to promote the spread of 
a liberal education among the women, these ladies have 
formed a school in which to bring up native school- 
mistresses. There has been no attempt at Protestant 
proselytism ; the pupils, whether of the Greek or Eomish 
Church, being left to the spiritual charge of their own 

We found these ladies engaged in packing up their 
effects preparatory to removing from the country for the 
present with their most promising pupils. They had 
only arrived the previous Thursday by the tedious post 
from Brood ; but the state of affairs seemed so threatening, 
that there was nothing for it but to take the children 
elsewhere and wait for quieter times. They experienced 
some difficulty in obtaining permission from the Pasha 
to take the embryo school-mistresses with them, as the 
Pashk considered that their departure would increase 
the panic among the Christians of Serajevo, by whom 
they are widely known and respected. It could not, 
however, well have been greater. Already, several of the 
leading Serb merchants had presented themselves at the 
English school-house, and begged to be allowed shelter 
if the expected butchery commenced. The Austrian 
Consul had just taken away his wife, and a general exo- 


dus of Christians from the city was going on. Miss 
Irby^ and Miss Johnston finally obtained the required 
permission, and, as we were afterwards happy to learn, 
have succeeded in planting their school at Prague till 
this tyranny be overpast. It is difficult indeed for the 
liberal arts to flourish at the best of times in a Turkish 
province ! TJie other day, on the opening of a rayah 
school at Banjaluka, the authorities issued peremptory 
orders prohibiting the teaching of history or geography ! 
So rigid has become the censorship of the press, that 
Miss Irby, though provided, like ourselves, with an auto- 
graph Bujuruldu from the Governor-General of Bosnia, 
was not allowed to bring her little store of books into 
the country, and was forced to leave them at Brood. 
The state of literature in Serajevo itself may be gathered 
from the following fact : in a city of between fifty and 
sixty thousand inhabitants there is not a single book- 
shop ! 

Aug. 22. — To-day we made the acquaintance of the 
German Consul, Count Von Bothmar, who expressed 
considerable surprise at our arriving here unmolested. 
From him and the other members of the consular body, 
who were very ready to supply us with full details as to 
the stirring events that are taking place around us, we 
learnt many interesting facts relative to the causes and 

* Miss Irby and Miss Johnston nre at the present moment engaged, amid 
the barbarous wilds of Slavonia, in alleviating the urgent needs of the Bos- 
nian refugees, with a philanthropy and devotedness worthy of the land 
which can number among its daughters a Mrs. Fry and a Florence Nightin- 
gale. Those who, by subscribing to the * Bosnian and Ilerzegovinian 
Fugitives' Orphan Relief Fund,' have aided their efforts, will be glad to 
learn that these practical manifestations of English sympathy have rescued 
hundreds from incalculable misery, and produced a profound impression on 
all South-Sclavonic peopleij. 


course of the insurrection in Bosnia. These accounts, 
and others from trustworthy sources, reveal such frantic 
oppression and gross misgovernment as must be hardly 
credible to Englishmen. We have heard all that can 
be said on the Turkish side, but the main facts remain 

The truth is that outside Serajevo and a few of the 
larger towns where there are Consuls or resident ' Euro- 
peans,' neither the honour, property, nor the lives of 
Christians are safe. Gross outrages against the person — 
murder itself — can be committed in the rural districts 
with impunity. The authorities are blind ; and it is quite 
a common thing for the gendarmes to let the perpetrator 
of the grossest outrage, if a Mussulman, escape before 
their eyes. There is a proverb among the Bosnian Serbs, 
' ISTo justice for the Christian.' Miss Irby, who has made 
many enquiries on these subjects, estimates that in the 
Medjhss, the only court where Christian evidence is even 
legally admitted, ' the evidence of twenty Christians 
would be outweighed by two Mussulmans.' ^ But why, it 
may be asked, do not the Christians appeal to the Con- 
suls for protection ? In the first place, in a mountainous 
country like Bosnia, with little means of communication, 
to do so would in most cases be a physical impossi- 
bility. In the second place, as Count Both mar assured 
us, if such complaint is made to a Consul, so surely is the 
complaining rayah more cruelly oppressed than before ; 
henceforth he is a marked man, nor is consular autho- 
rity so omnipresent as to save him and his family 
from ruin. ' God alone knows,' he exclaimed, ' what 

^ See * Bosnia in 1875,' an interesting paper by Miss Irby in the Victoria 
Magazine for Nov. 1875. 

256 THE TITIlE-FARAfERS. ch. vi. 

the rayahs suffer in the country districts ! ' Eemembering 
the revolting scenes, of which I had been a witness, at 
the Christian gathering near Comusina, I could beheve 

But the most galling oppression, and the main cause 
of the present revolt, is to be found in the system and 
manner of taxation. The centralised government set up 
in Bosnia since 1851 is so much machinery for wringing 
the uttermost farthing out of the unhappy Bosniac rayah. 
The desperate efforts of Turkish financiers on the eve of 
national bankruptcy have at last made the burden of 
taxation more than even the long-suffering Bosniac can 
bear. It was the last straw. 

The principal tax — besides the house and land tax, the 
cattle tax,^ and that paid by the ' Christian ' in lieu of military 
service which is wrung from the poorest rayah for every 
male of his famiiy down to the baby in arms^ — is the 

^ The Cattle-tax is of three kinds : the Pores, or from fifteen to twenty 
piastres on every head of large cattle ; the lie.wii Agnam, of two piastres 
on every head of small cattle ; and the Domizia, or hog-tax. To these pastoral 
imposts may be added the Travarina or Herhatico, four piastres for every 
head of neat cattle pastured in mountain forests claimed by the State ; four 
piastres levied on every plot of ground planted with Broc, a flower which 
produces a red dye much used in Bosnia ; a tax of four piastres on every 
beehive : the Had, or labour-tax, of about twenty-five piastres j Corvee on 
public roads ; and the Komore, or forced loan of horses. 

* * The tax in lieu of military service, which is paid by all non-Mussul- 
mans, weighs very heavily on the poor, who have to pay, equally with the ricli, 
twenty-eight piastres for every male. In the poorest and most miserable 
family this sum must be paid for the male infant who has first seen the light 
a few hours before the visit of the tax-gatherer. I have heard the bitterest 
complaints of the cruelty of this lax on the young children of the rayah.' — 
Miss Irby, loc. cit. p. 79. In principle this tax (^known as BecUiat AskarU) 
is only levied on males between the ages of sixteen and sixty. In prac- 
tice it is levied on old men of eighty as well as infants in arms, and often 
amounts to thirty piastres. A round sum is demanded from every village, 
and the Kncz^ or Mayor, has to divide it as best lie may; but the sum de- 
manded by the Government is always out of all proportion to the number 
of those who are legally called on to pay it. 


eighth/ or, as it is facetiously called by the tax-collector, 
the tenth, which is levied on all produce of the earth. With 
regard to the exaction of this tax, every conceivable iniquity 
is practised. To begin with, its collection is farmed out to 
middle-men, and these, ex-officio pitiless, are usually by 
origin the scum of the Levant. The Osmanli or the 
Sclavonic Mahometan possesses a natural dignity and 
self-respect which disinclines him for such dirty work. 
The men who come forward and offer the highest price 
for the license of extortion are more often Christians — 
Fanariote Greeks — adventurers from Stamboul, mem- 
bers of a race perhaps the vilest of mankind. No 
considerations of honour, or religion, or humanity, re- 
strain these wretches. Having acquired the right to 
farm the taxes of a given district, the Turkish officials 
and gendarmerie are bound to support them in wring- 
ing the uttermost farthing out of the miser a contribuens 
plebs, and it is natural that this help should be most 
readily forthcoming when needed to break the resistance 
of the rayah. 

These men time their visitation well. They appear 
in the villages before the harvest is gathered and assess 
the value of the crops according to the present prices, 
which, of course, are far higher just before the harvest 
than after it. But the rayahs would be well contented 
if their exactions stopped here. They possess, however, 
a terrible lever for putting the screw on the miserable 
tiller. The harvest may not be gathered till the tax, 

^ The tithe or ' dime ' was converted into an eighth a few years ago, 
(to pay the expense of the Sultan's European tour), by the imposition of an 
extra two-and-a-half percent., which, by an artifice common to the thimble- 
rigging financiers of Stamboul, was called ' a temporary aid.' Since the 
revolt this aid has been given up by the Irnde of October 10, 1875. 



which is pitilessly levied in cash, has been extorted. If 
the full amount — and they often double or treble the 
legal sum — is not forthcoming, the tax-gatherer simply 
has to say ' then your harvest shall rot on the ground 
till you pay it ! ' And the rayah must see the produce 
of his toil lost, or pay a ruinous imposition which more 
than swamps his profits. 

But supposing, as often happens, the Spahi, or tithe- 
farmer, who is shrewd enough to know that eo) nihilo nihil 
fit, sees no means of wringing the required amount from 
the village till after the harvest has been disposed of. In 
that case he imposes on the Knez or village elder, who 
represents the commune in the transaction, an assess- 
ment drawn up in the Turkish tongue,^ and as intelligible 
to the rural Bosniac as so much Chinese. The money 
from the grapes or corn or tobacco assessed having been 
realised, the Spahi presents himself again to the village, 
and demands, perhaps, double what had been agreed on. 
The astonished Knez takes out the written agreement, a 
copy of which had been supplied to him, and appeals to 
it against the extortioner. But if he carries the matter 
before a Turkish court, the first Effendi who sets eyes on 
it will tell him that every iota of the Spahi*s claims is 
borne out by that precious document ! 

Or if he still remains obstinate, there are other para- 
phernalia of torture worthy of the vaults of the Inquisition. 
A village will occasionally band together to defend them- 
selves from these extortioners. Thereupon the titlie- 
farmer applies to the civil power, protesting that if he 
does not get the full amount from the village, he will be 

* See on this device of extortion, M. Yriarte's Bomie et IleixigomnCy 
aoitvenirs de voyaye paidtmt Vinmmctioti. Plon, Pjuis, 3876, p. 199. 



unable in his turn to pay the Government. The Zaptiehs, 
the factotums of the Turkish officials, are immediately- 
quartered on the villagers, and live on them, insult their 
wives, and ill-treat their children. With the aid of these 
gentry all kinds of personal tortures are applied to the 
recalcitrant. In the heat of summer men are stripped ^ 
naked, and tied to a tree smeared over with honey or I 
other sweet-stuff, and left to the tender mercies of the 
insect world. For winter extortion it is found con- 
venient to bind people to stakes and leave them bare- J 
footed to be frost-bitten ; or at other times they are " 
thrust into a pigsty and cold water poured on them. A . 
favourite plan is to drive a party of rayahs up a tree ! 
or into a chamber, and then smoke them with green | 
wood. Instances are recorded of Bosniac peasants being , 
buried up to their heads in earth, and left to repent at j 

^ To show that these and other tortures are by no means new in Bosnia, 
I may be allowed to cite a curious passage from a book on Turkish Manyiers 
and Customs, and having especial reference to the Turkish border-province 
of Dalmatia, written in the sixteenth century by a citizen of Zara, Messer 
Luigi Bassano, and entitled / CostAimi et i Modi particolari de la vita de 
Turchi. Roma, 1545. Ch. xxxiii. is headed * Modo die usano d'impalare, e 
d'altre sorti de Morti, e torture die danno.^ After giving the most ghastly 
details as to the method of impalement, and instancing the case of a certain 
Capitan Lazero Albanese, who had been recently captured on the Dalmatian- 
Herzegovinian frontier, and had suffered in this way, the writer continues : 

' Usano oltro Vimpalare anchora Vinganciare sopra leforche, dove sono tre ganci fatti 
a modo d'una falcetta da wietere il grano, ma grosse tanto che poashi sostenere uri'huomo, 
e qui s'appicclia chi v't condennato, e vi pende per mold gio7-ne miserubilmente. Appicc/iano 
anchora con una fune sottile e lunga, tal che Vappiccato tocca quasi terra co piedi, con tutto 
che la forcha sia alta. Soglion' anchora ligare Ihuonio tra due tavole, e con quelle dal capo 
dividerlo per il mezzo con una siega. Usano tormentare lurdando, hor con pece hor con 
lardo, metier celate I'ouide in testa, metterH temperatoi sotto I'ungna, cacciare un' asciuga- 
toio, di quel che loro usano da cingersi, hagnato d'aceto giu per la gola e retirarlo poi su a 
poco a poco, e questo e un tormento crudelissimo. Sogliono tuVhoia ligare unhuomoper un 
piede nudo a una colonna, attorno la quale fanno assai huon fuoco, rultimo rimedio, poi 
che il ligato e caldo, e di muoversi hor di la, hor di qua, ma poi che non puo piu, stance e 
sforzato mancare, e morlre, arrostito e rosso, coni'un Gumbero.' 

Recent accounts of impalement in Bosnia have been received with incredu- 
lity by a portion of the English public, and that although the Turkish 
denials were absolutely worthless. For my own part I am credulous enough 
to believe that the impaled figure seen by Canon Liddon and Mr. McColl 

s 2 



I will quote a single instance of these practices, 
communicated by the Princess Julia of Servia to the 
author of ' Servia and the Servians.' ' A poor woman, 
frantic with agony, burst into the palace of the Princess 
at Belgrade. She had been assessed by the Turkish 
authorities of a village in Bosnia of a sum which she had 
no means of paying . . . She was smoked. This failed of 
extracting the gold. She begged for a remission, and 
stated her inability to pay. In answer she was tossed into 
the river Drina, and after her were thrown her two infant 
children— one of four years old, the other of two. Before 
her eyes, notwithstanding her frantic efforts to save them, 
her children perished. Half drowned and insensible, she 
was dragged to land by a Serbian peasant. She made 
her way to Belgrade, believing, from the character of 
the Princess for humanity, that she would aid her. Of 
course to do so was out of the question.' ^ 

Gustav Thoemmel, who was attached to the Austrian 
Consulate here, relates how the application of such tor- 
tures drove many Bosnian rayahs to desperation in 1865. 
No less than five hundred families took refuge across 

was not a scarecrow; and further, that Bishop Strossmajer was well- 
informed in stating that this was by no means an isolated case. The recent 
instances attested by Miss Irby's friends now bet the matter beyond dis- 
pute. Impalement was common in Bosnia during the disturbed times 
immediately preceding the Crimean war, and the supposition that a time- 
honoured institution like this should in a few years' time have died out in 
the moft conservative country in Europe, is, a priori, extremely improbable. 
Barbarities like these are characteristic of a certain stage of society, and 
need excite no surprise. Many of the tortures still practised in Bosnia are 
an inheritance from prro-Turkish times, and should be considered in connection 
with the general survival there of feudalism under a Mahometan guise. 

^ The Rev. W. Dentm, The Chridiaus in Turkey^ p. 44. Ililferding 
(Rttskaja Besidda, quoted by M. Yriarte, op. cit.) gives a frightful account of 
how a Bosnian landlord, a Beg, extorted money from six rayahs by suspend- 
ing them over a lire of maize-stalks. * Les air raias nefurent reridm la libertS 
gu'u moitid asphyxihf apihs que la douleur leur eut air ache In promosae de 
doimer tmtt ce Qu'ih i)os»ddaietU* In the forthcoming work of Mr. Stillman, 



the borders from these inquisitors in the spring of that 
year. They were, however, turned back and forced to 
return to their homes in Bosnia in a most depk^rable 
st.ite. ' Complaint,' says Thoemmel, ' about outrages of 
this kind are scarcely ever brought forward, since the 
rayah seldom obtains evidence or even hearing, and his 
complaining only brings down on him increased perse- 
cution. So it happens that the higher officials often re- 
main in entire ignorance of the barbarities perpetrated 
by their underlings.' 

It must not be supposed that the higher authori- 
ties here are altogether blind as to the evils attendant 
on the tithe-farming. It will hardly be believed that 
the present Governor-General, and his predecessor Osman 
Pasha, have been doing their best to remove this abuse, 
but were thwarted by the authorities at Stamboul, who 
have in recent years taken away much of the indepen- 
dent power of the provincial Yali, the better to suck 
everything into that sink of corruption. Our Consul has 
for years directed his energies with the same object, and 
acting on his representations. Lord Stratford de EedclifTe 
used all his influence to support the appeal of Osman 
Pasha. But neither our most influential ambassador 
nor the Turkish Governor-General of Bosnia could induce 
the Porte to remove the abuse. The pretext by which 
these representations were always eluded was that the tithe 
was a religious institution. The present Vali,^ a man of 

the Times' coiTespondeiit, on the ' Insurrection in the Herzegovina/ the 
reader will find (p. 9) an account of horrible instances of judicial torture 
perpetrated on a rayah family near Trebinje, in the period immediately pre- 
ceding the revolt. Two were put in long wooden boxes like coffins and rolled 
down hill: others were stood upright with their heads in a hole in the floor 
of the prison which allowed them to rest on their shoulders, and splinters of 
wood were then driven under their tinger-nails. 

* Dervish Pasha has since been removed from the Vilajet of Bosma. 


more subtle genius, had, however, succeeded in drawing a 
distinction between this and the rehgious tithe, and was 
confident that he would be shortly permitted to abolish 
it, and substitute for it a land tax not farmed by middle- 
men. But it was already too late. The present revolts, 
both in Bosnia and the Herzegovina, are mainly due to 
the extortion of the ' dime,' 

It was on Sunday, August 15 — -the same day on 
which the great Christian pilgrimage took place on the 
mountain above Comusina — that the peasants of that 
part of Bosnia, who had been goaded to madness during 
the last few weeks by the exactions of the tax-gatherer 
(with whom this year the government, itself unable to 
meet its creditors, had driven a harder bargain than 
usual), first took up arms. From the rapidity with 
which tlie revolt spread through Lower Bosnia there 
seems to have been a preconcerted movement — indeed, 
it was previously known at Belgrade with sufficient 
accuracy what lines the outbreak would follow. Tlie 
first movement took place near Banjaluka, where the 
rayah villagers rose on their extortioners and slew eight 
tax-gatherers. This was immediately followed by other 
risings extending along the Possavina to the neighbour- 
hood of Brood and Dervent. Several of the watch4owers 
along this frontier were surprised, and their Turkish gar- 
rison massacred. Meanwhile, the Christian women and 
children are fleeing beyond the Austrian border for protec- 
tion ; the banks of the Save at the present moment are a 
piteous sight, and the forest border and willow river-hedge 
are crowded with these harmless fugitives, holding out 
tliuir hands and entreating to be ferried over to the Sla- 
vonian shore. The newj^ of the outbreak quite bewildered 


the authorities at Serajevo. The Vah, the only man 
capable of coping with the difficulties of the situation, 
had just left for the Herzegovina. Bosnia was bereft of 
troops, for the Seraskier at Stamboul, disregarding the 
earnest warnings of the Vali, had persisted in withdraw- 
ing the regulars stationed in the province till hardly any 
were left, and of these every available man, except those 
absolutely necessary for garrison duty, had now been 
dispatched to the Herzegovina. 

Meantime, the Mahometan population of Lower Bosnia 
has taken the law into its own hands, and the authorities 
have been forced to look on and see the Mahometan 
volunteers, the Bashi-Bazouks — not long ago suppressed 
for conduct too outrageous for even the worst of govern- 
ments to tolerate — spring once more into existence. 
Such were the ferocious warriors whose acquaintance 
we had made at Travnik. To-day they are streaming 
into Serajevo : we met a party of them defiling through 
the street, and the leader of the gang, as he passed, 
glared savagely at the Giaour. They are, from what we 
hear, mere organised brigands headed by irresponsible 
partizans, and at present are committing the wildest 
atrocities — cutting down women, children, and old men 
who come in their way, and burning the crops and home- 
steads of the rayah. That the defence of Bosnia should 
have fallen into the hands of such men is one of the most 
terrible features of the situation, and nothing can better 
show the abjectness of her present governors than that 
they have now consented to accept the services of these 
bandits — and that even the Turkish authorities are now 
calling them out as well as the Eedif. There seems, 
however, to be little authority of any sort left to the 


government at the seat of the insurrection in Bosnia, for 
the native Mahometan population, seeing itself left de- 
fenceless by its Osmanli officials, has rudely thrust them 
aside, and the defensive measures are now being carried 
out by self-constituted committees of public safety, which 
have sprung up at Banjaluka, Dervent, and other towns. 
The artificial bureaucracy of 1851 has collapsed under 
the shock, and the long-restrained savagery of the old 
dominant caste has burst forth like a caged lion for the 
defence of Islam. The marauding bands now desolating 
Bosnia are for the most part headed by Begs or Agas, 
scions of the old Bosnian nobility : the Bashi-Bazouks 
are simply feudal retainers following their lords. Thus, 
in Bosnia, the Christian outbreak has been opposed by a 
counter-revolution of Moslem fanaticism in close alhance 
with the still vital relics of Bosnian feudalism. 

ITews of a sanguinary fight near Banjaluka, between 
five hundred insurgents and the Turks, has just come in. 
It lasted eleven hours, 'with uncertain results' — which 
means favourably to the Christians. The number of the 
revolters at one spot, and the duration of the conflict, 
alike witness the seriousness of the rising. The telegraph 
to Brood has just been cut, but a battalion has been 
dispatched to keep open the communication at this im- 
portant point. We further hear that the streets of Agram 
and Belgrade are placarded with inflammatory proclama- 
tions, calling on the Southern Sclaves to rise in defence 
of their brothers. Like manifestoes have appeared at 
Bucharest. The German Consul looks on this South- 
Sclavonic agitation as one of tlie most serious features of 
the present situation. As far as Serajevo is concerned, 
he already telegraphed tliree days ago to Berlin and Con- 


stantinople that there was no longer security here against 
any contingency. 

Meanwhile, the events in the city seem to be shaping 
their course on the model of 1872. To-day a conjura- 
tion of about three hundred of the leading Turks took 
place in the great Mosque. They appeared there with 
arms in their hands, and swore that there was a plot 
against their lives ! It has now oozed out that they have 
banded themselves together to fall with their following 
on the Christians of Serajevo, should the revolt break out 
any nearer here — as things go, a not unlikely contin- 
gency. The Christians are more alarmed than ever, and 
appeal to consular protection. Their apprehensions are 
further excited by the fact that a notorious brigand — a 
certain Dervish Aga — has appeared at the head of tlie 
Mahometan volunteers of this neighbourhood. 

Now, it appears that even our humble selves have 
become the objects of fanatical suspicion. We have 
been already honoured by having consular reports sent to 
the representative of Austria regarding our motions and 
conduct during our tour — which reports were the subject 
of an official interview between that gentleman and our 
Consul, who endeavoured to explain it to him — with 
what success is doubtful — that it was not the practice of 
the English Government to send political agitators on 
secret missions to nationalities ! It is now the turn of the 
Mahometans to suspect our intentions, and a few harm- 
less sketches of Serajevan costumes, and a little innocent 
curiosity as to the wares on some of the Serajevan shop- 
boards, have excited such indignation in the bosoms of true 
believers that a deputation of forty Turks waited on the 
Pasha to complain of us, and entering, as it would appear, 


into a kind of competition which could display the most 
Oriental inventiveness of calumny — it has resulted in our 
being accused first of taking notes of the fortress, and 
ultimately of violating a mosque ! Of course we had 
scrupulously avoided even approaching the portals of 
such a sacred edifice ; and as to the fortress, we had not 
even visited the quarter of the town in which it stands. 
Mr. Freeman convinced the Pasha that these accusations 
were false ; but it was thought better after this that we 
should be accompanied in our peregrinations by consular 
guards or cavasses, English or German. 

Aug. 23rd. — This morning the German Consul, with 
whom we lunched, informed us that he had just obtained 
an interview with the Pashk to represent to him the 
threatening state of afiairs, and especially this new 
Mahometan conspiracy, and to ask what measures he 
intended to take to protect the Christians in the event of 
a disturbance. The Pasha explicitly declared that he 
was ready to use his troops and cannon against the 
first disturbers of the peace, to whatever party they be- 
longed. The Consul is tolerably satisfied with this, and 
believes that the troops are sufficiently Osmanli and 
obedient to official commands to be trusted not to 
fraternize with the native Mahometan fanatics. 

We had been asked to meet the representatives of 
Austria and Eussia, and received quite an ovation at the 
Consulate. The conversation tiu-ned on the Greek hier- 
archy of this country, and the worst that we had heard 
of these wolves in sheep's clothing was more than cor- 
roborated. Perhaps the most terrible feature of the 
tyranny under which the Bosnian rayah groans, is that 
those, who should protect, betray him, and that those, to 


whom he looks for spiritual comfort, wring from him the 
last scrap of worldly belongings which has escaped the 
rapacity of the infidel. Amongst all the populations of 
modern Turkey there is only one so vile as to fawn upon 
the tyrants. The modern Greeks of Constantinople — 
the Fanariotes, let us call them — not to pollute a hallowed 
name — have inherited all the corruption of a corrupt 
empire, and added to their hereditary store. It is from 
these, as we have seen, that the odious class of middle- 
men, who ferm the taxes, is chiefly recruited. It is also 
from these that the dignitaries of the Greek Church 
throughout Turkey are chosen. 

The Turks have not hesitated to utilize the sleek 
knavery ready to their beck. It has long been a part 
of Turkish policy to rivet the fetters of their Sclavonic 
subjects by filling the high ecclesiastical offices of the 
Greek Church with Fanariote bishops. The .office of the 
old Serbian metropolitans who resided at Ipek was sup- 
pressed, and Bosnia has since been divided into four 
eparchies ^ under the immediate control of the Patriarcli 
of Constantinople, the Eparchs needing, like the head 
of the Greek Church himself, an exequatur from the 
infidel before they can enter on their functions. The 
Greek Patriarch takes good care that these eparchies shall 
be filled by none but Fanariotes, and thus it happens 
that the Pravoslaves or orthodox Christians of Bosnia, 
who form the majority of the population,''^ are subjected 

^ For the organisation of the Greek Church in Bosnia, see Thoemmel, 
op. cit. p. 102. 

^ According to the official reports of 1874, there were 576,756 Christians 
of the Greek Church in the Vilajet of Bosnia (which includes the Herze- 
govina). The total population was 1,216,846, of whom 442,050 were Bos- 
nian Mussulmans j 185,503 Roman Catholics J 3,000 Jews j 9,537 Gipsies. 

268 WOLVES IN sheep's GLOTIIING. ch. vr. 

to ecclesiastics, aliens in blood, in language, in sym- 
pathies, who oppress them hand in hand with the Turkish 
officials, and set them, often, an even worse example of 
moral depravity. 

It does not become the English language to record 
the Sejanian arts by which they rise. Usually, as the 
lackey of a Pasha or some rich Fanariote, they amass 
gains which they afterwards lay out in an episcopal specu- 
lation — for sees go to the highest bidders at Stamboul.^ 
The new Metropolitan arrives at Serajevo, and immediately 
sets to work to make the speculation pay. To retain 
their office they have further to send enormous bribes 
yearly to the fountain-head of corruption. Thus the 
simony which begins on the patriarchal throne descends to 
the meanest pulpit, and the poorest pope in Bosnia has to 
bargain with his bishop for his cure of souls ! The shep- 
herd, fleeced himself by his bishop, must recoup himself 
from his flock. On every occasion of life he levies a con- 
tribution in money or in kind, and in some cases he has 
even succeeded in establishing a system of heriots. On the 
death of the father of a family he takes the best ox ; on 
the mother's death, a cow. Not infrequently childi'en grew 
up unbaptized because the parents were too poor to pay 
the fee required.^ As to the parsons themselves, their 
Ignorance is usually so gross that they cannot read the 
Sclavonic liturgy, and simply repeat it by rote ! The 
Metropolitan of Serajevo is said to wring as much as 
10,000/. a year from his miserable flock : the otlier three 

* Even in Greece, where the state of the Greek Church is said to be 
somewhat better, the simony is as rampant, and most humiliating disclosures 
are now (1870) taking place. 

^ For these facts, and some further statistics, I am indebted to Thoemmel. 
The ordinary price of a cuio of aouls is from twenty to thirty ducats. 


content themselves with about half that amount apiece. 
When it is remembered that the salary of the Vali Pasha 
himself only amounts to 500/. a year, the enormity of 
these figures may be appreciated. These four suc- 
cessors of the fishermen of Galilee extort annually be- 
tween them a sum equal to one-sixteenth of the total 
income received hj the government of the province 
from taxation. Since, however, a large part of what 
they extract from the unhappy rayahs must be trans- 
mitted in the form of bribes to Stamboul, the Turkish 
authorities have orders to assist them in levying their 
exactions ; and whole Christian villages share the fate of 
a sacked city from Turkish gendarmerie, for refusing, 
or too often being unable, to comply with the exorbitant 
demands of Christian prelates. 

De vivis nil nisi bonum. The predecessor of the 
present Metropolitan of Sei-ajevo, amongst his other 
accomphshments, was an habitual drunkard. He lived 
in Sardanapalian luxury — ^his table groaned w^ith plate; 
and at his death he left untold treasures in costly furs 
alone — the fleecings of his flock ! His rapacity w^as such 
that even the slavish spirit of the Bosnian rayah was 
provoked to resistance, and in 1864 the agitation became 
so dangerous that an assembly of the notables was called 
at Serajevo to devise a remedy ; and a certain standard 
of ecclesiastical dues not to be transgressed was finally 
imposed on the bishops by the Turkish authorities them- 
selves. But the Metropolitan, with the shrewdness of 
his race, read between the lines. All that was meant, as 
he had the good sense to perceive, was a slight increase 
of his expenditure under the head of lubrication. Tho- 
emmel, writing so soon after these events as 1867, mentions 


that ' this standard has already become a dead letter.' It 
is no secret that one of the main provocations of the revolt 
in the Herzegovina was the tyranny of the Turkophile 
bishop Prokopios. When the storm burst, one of the 
first attempts at pacification was the translation of this 
ghostly vampire to a fatter see! 

Vain indeed must be the efforts of the rayah flock to 
save themselves from the wolves Avhile they have a 
hirehng for their shepherd ! These episcopal sycophants 
of the infidel serve the Turk in a hundred ways — they 
screen a hundred abuses. No sooner does an awkward 
revelation see the light, than one of these renegade pre- 
lates steps forward to throw dust in the eyes of the 
Christian West. They know well that to a certain class 
of mind there is something comfortable in the very name 
of bishop. They trade upon the saintly spell which 
throws a halo of veracity round any lies they may invent 
to shield their patrons or themselves. Ill-founded, indeed, 
seem the complaints of the rayah when his bishop comes 
forward to confess, from a Christian love of truth and 
justice — ^but with how much laudable reluctance ! — that 
the wrongs of his too blatant flock are purely imaginary, 
and that, if anyone has been aggrieved, it is the honest, 
the moral, the merciful, the tolerant, Osmanli ! ^ 

As an useful sedative we have taken a Bosnian batli, 

* Lest this account of the Fanariote Hierarchy, as it exists in Bosnia^ 
should appear incredible to my readers, I may be allowed to appeal to Ilerr 
Kanitz's description of the spiritual rule of these same gentry in Bulgaria, 
now happily terminated by the resolute action of their Bulgar flock. Ilerr 
Kanitz, who is a most candid and impartial observer, and has the advantage 
of twelve years' residence in the country, finds no word for them but 
Spiritual l*ashas. Four thousand ducats (2,000/.) was a tolerably cheap 
price for a bishopric in Bulgaria, and the bishops, even of the poorest 
dioceses, suclced as much as 1,500/. a year from their flocks. When the Porte 
proposed the erection of school-houses for the Christians, the Fanariote Ilier- 


and found both building and ceremony deliciously Orien- 
tal. We entered to find ourselves under a spacious dome, 
pierced with a constellation of star-like openings, which 
shed a dim religious light on marble pavements, and ogee 
archways and niches. In the centre a fountain, playing 
into a marble basin, glittered and twinkled in the artificial 
starlight, and faintly echoing with a cavernous murmur 
through vault and corridor, not only added a refreshing 
chill to the atmosphere — cooled already by exclusion of 
sunlight and the marble walls — but seemed to let in a sense 
of coolness by the ears. Here a venerable Turk came up, 
and beckoning us to follow him, led us up a flight of 
steps to an airy gallery opening from this cool vault, 
where was a divan with couches for our repose. Hence 
we presently emerged, attuned, like the Turks about, in 
decorous togas and turbans, convertible into towels, and 
with clogs on our feet, clattered awkwardly through the 
spacious Frigidarium — how the whole brings to life the 
luxurious days of ancient Eome ! — and thence, after pass- 

avchy stood out against this liberal measure, and embezzled their educa- 
tional fund to build new churches in their usual swaggering style. * What 
need have you of better schools ? ' asked the Archbishop of Nish of his 
congregation. ^Do you want your children to become unbelieving heretics? ' 
True to their Grecizing policy, these Angels of Darkness burnt all the monu- 
ments of old Bulgarian literature that they could lay hands on, and im- 
posed Greek services on congregations who could not understand a word. 
Of their moral influence I will let Herr Kanitz speak — in German : 

' Die schlimmste Demoralisation wurde in directester Weise in die Famiiien hineinge- 
tragen. Weder Frauen noch Jungfrauen waren vor den Geliisten des hbheren Klerns aus 
dem Fanar sicJier. Die dem Grossvezier im Jahre 1860 vorgehrachten Anklagen in alien 
Stadten die er durchzog, iiberstiegen , was die Abschfulichkeit und Zahl hetrifft,alle Be- 
griffe. Unter vielen Thatsachen seiJiier nur erwahnt, dassder Griechische Bischofvon Sar- 
koi von dem griechischen Arzte dieser Stadt heschuldigt wurde, 13- his lA-j'dhrige Madchen 
der dortigen Schule gesch'dndet zu haben. Zu diesen Verheerungen in der Unmilndigen 
Jugend ihrer Sprengel gesellte sich ein anderer, nicht minder schwerer, sehr h'dufig gegen 
die fanariotische G eistlichkeit erhobener Vorwurf: Hire Begilnstigung des Kindesmordes 
im Mutter schoosseJ' — Donau-Bulgarien und der Balkan, I. Band, p, 129. 
Herr Jirecek, in his recent GeschicJde der Biclgaren, corroborates these facts, 
and adds others even more gross (see p. 513). Brought to bay at last by the 
sturdy opposition of the Bulgarian people, the Fanariote bishops got rid of 
some of their principal opponents by poison. See Jirecek, op. cit, p. 555. 


ing through an antichamber still cool, plunged into the 
Calidarium with a vengeance. This was a domed cham- 
ber of equal dimensions with the first, from which opened 
several lesser rooms swelling into cupolas above. But 
we were so suffocated with the hot steamy atmosphere, 
that it was not till after we had been seated by our 
attendant Turk on a dais in one of these side-vaults, that 
we recovered breath sufficient to take stock of any- 
thing. Just behind us, from a leaden spout fixed in an 
ogival niche in the wall, gushed forth a hot fountain into 
a marble basin, out of which, after much patient endur- 
ance of preliminary sudation, we were basted by our 
minister. Then succeeded excoriation by a rough gaunt- 
let that served as strigil, then we were well lathered, and 
so the process was repeated till a final douche of cold 
water from a wooden bowl gave the signal for girding 
ourselves once more and making our way through the 
cool chamber — tenfold refreshing now ! — to our couch. 
Here, in the same turban and light attire as himself, we 
accompanied a Turk in clolce far niente tempered with 
fragrant mocha and cigarettes — though sherbet is equally 
proper as a beverage, and a narghile would perhaps have 
been more decorous. The whole process, including the 
time spent in recovering from our first succeeding las- 
situde, lasted about an hour. 

Thus re-invigorated, we renewed our exploration of 
the streets of Serajevo — this time accompanied by a 
gorgeous consular guard. Besides the baths there are 
other fine stone buildings here, and the Bosniac country- 
man gapes with as much wonderment at the domes of the 
two chief mosques as an English rustic at first sight of 
St. Paul's. Of these two Dzkmias, or greater mosques, 


one, the Careva Dzkmia, is the work of Sultan Moham- 
med, who conquered Bosnia ; and the other, the Begova 
Dzkmia, owes its foundation to Khosrev Beg, her first 
Vizier. This latter is the largest, and externally, with 
its central dome, subsidiary cupolas, and its portico in 
front, preserves faithfully enough the characteristics of 
its Christian Byzantine prototypes. Before it is a plot 
planted with trees, and containing a stone font filled with 
the purest water for the ghusel or religious lustrations. 
In the porch are two monolithic columns of brown marble, 
taken from an earlier Christian church : here, too, is a 
shrine or chapel, in which is a gigantic sarcophagus, 
containing the bones of the founder, and a smaller one 
containing those of his wife — both, especially the former, 
strewn with costly shawls by the hands of the pious. The 
interior of the mosque is plain and whitewashed, except 
for the texts of the Koran upon the walls, and gay Per- 
sian carpets strewn upon the pavement. There are two 
pulpits, one for ordinary lessons and sermons ; the other 
a loftier perch used on Fridays for reading the prayer for 
the Sultan ; and in the w^all may be seen a square stone, 
the Kihla, which marks the direction of Mecca. But we 
ourselves were advised not to enter, owing to the dan- 
gerous spirit of fanaticism abroad ; so these details are 
gathered second-hand.^ 

Besides her mosques, Serajevo boasts two Bezestans or 
' cloth-halls,' usually one of the chief public buildings of a 
Turkish city. The larger of these includes a court, sur- 
rounded by cloisters, and with a fountain in the middle ; 

^ Both Maurer and Rosliievi(5 were able to visit this mosque. Foe 
further details I will refer the reader to their descriptions, to which I am 


but from the outside you can see little of the building 
except some stone cupolas, as the wooden shops of the 
market are built against its walls. Inside we found our- 
selves wandering along stone arcades vaulted above and 
bayed at the side with semi-circular recesses, in which 
the wares are displayed. They consist mostly of cloths ; 
and though light is deficient, the brilliance of the eiSect 
is astonishing — the rich display of drapery might recall 
a street of Ghent in the Middle Ages ! Eound the Bezes- 
tan are crowded the narrow streets of the Carsia or 
market — by exploring which you can arrive at a fairly 
exhaustive knowledge of the industries of Serajevo. There 
was not such a jumble of wares here as in the smaller 
towns of Bosnia. Shops of a similar kind succeeded each 
other in a row, or sometimes monopolised a whole street. 
Here was the blacksmiths' street, with a display of colossal 
nails, and a large assortment of the elegant bosses of 
Tiu-kish door-handles with their knocker-like appendages. 
Another street was sacred to harness-makers and sellers of 
horse-trappings ; in a third was a double arrangement — a 
lower row of boot-shops conveniently level with the 
ground, while, as a roof above the opanka- sellers' heads, 
ran the counters of crockery-merchants, with a charming 
variety of testjas and other water jars — so that foot and 
mouth could be suited at the same moment ! Another 
street resounded with the hammers of coppersmiths, 
moulding their metal into coffee-pots or platters; here 
were rows of salt- merchants, or we came upon a group 
of armourers' shops — to-day ominously thronged — brist- 
ling with knives and swords of the famed Bosnian steel. 
In the smaller Bezestan were many second-hand goods, 
and amongst them magnificent flint-locks of antique form, 
with stocks richly inlaid with mother-of-pearl and golden 


arabesques — the masterpieces of the old workshops of 
Prizren. Near these might be seen gun-flints such as 
have been described already — the best quality of those 
imported from Avlona. 

But the part of the bazaar which interested us most 
was the goldsmiths' quarter. Here sate a whole street 
full of cunning artificers, pinching and twisting the pre- 
cious metals — but chiefly silver — into brooches, beads, 
rings, and ear-rings of fihgree work — charming, both 
from its intrinsic elegance and from its clearly marked 
Byzantine parentage. The Serajevan work, pure and 
simple, though not without merit, is somewhat coarse, 
and we were pleased to find that the more graceful 
flowers of silver-work had been engrafted on the rude 
Bosnian stock by the taste of an English lady. Mrs. 
Holmes, the wife of our hospitable Consul, brought over 
some of the chefs-d'oeuvre of Maltese filigree-work and 
set these as models for the smiths of Serajevo, who have 
so profited by the lesson that they axe now almost able 
to compete with the productions of the more refined 
Italian artists. The Serajevan work has not, however, 
degenerated into mere imitation : certain native charac- 
teristics are still traceable in the new style. 

Yet our Consul complained that, as regards skilful 
workmanship, the incapacity of the Bosniacs was great 
even compared with the Asiatic provinces of Turkey. In 
Kurdistan, for example, he found no difficulty in obtain- 
ing articles of furniture — sofas, and so forth — of European 
elegance, by simply supplying patterns to the native 
upholsterers ; but here, when he tried to do the same, 
people laughed at the very idea ! Tlie only carpenters 
here are Austrians settled in Serajevo. 

T 2 


The motley groups of citizens of different denomina- 
tions which one comes upon in the streets of Serajevo 
are at least as Oriental as the wares. Here is a kind of 
happy family of Turks, Jews, Heretics, and Infidels. It 
will be noticed that the Mahometan women of the capital 
are not so rigorously veiled as those of the provincial 
towns — Travnik, for example. Those of the better con- 
dition here are infected with Stamboul fashions, and now 
and then you will see a Mahometan lady pass in her 
flowing peach-coloured silk, and a veil so transparent 
that she might just as well have discarded it altogether. 
As we descend in the social scale, modesty increases, and 
I will not deny that many of the Serajevan women, with 
their long white shrouds, bear a certain resemblance to 
Lot's wife after her metamorphosis ; though with reluctance 
it must be confessed that we sometimes saw a nose or 
even an eye ! It is amusing to watch the gradual transfor- 
mations of the little Mahometan girls here. How charm- 
ing was the little maiden opposite ! — with her pale green 
vest and flowing pink — can they be really pantaloons ? — 
with her childish beauty peeping forth from beneath a 
scarlet fez — and so demure, too, for all her gorgeousness ! 
But by the time she is eleven the transitionary process 
will begin ; for a while she will content herself with 
wrapping a cold white mantle round her head and her 
pretty dress — for a while you may still catch a glimpse 
of her face and the border of her fez — and then — the 
cocoon ! 

To the left of the group before us will be observed 
two Jewesses belonging to the wealthiest part of the Sera- 
jevan population. There are in this city about 2,000 
Jews, descendants of tliose who, in the fifteenth and six- 


teenth centuries, took refuge from the persecutions of the 
CathoUc rulers of Spain within the dominions of the more 
tolerant Grand Signior. But they still look back with a 
certain regretful longing to the adopted land of their 
forefathers. Although they can speak Bosniac to out- 
siders without an accent, they still converse among them- 
selves in a language which was that of Spain in the days 
of their expulsion ; and the pure Castilian of the Knight 
of La Mancha, antiquated in its mother-country, is still to 
be heard in the streets of Serajevo ! ^ They have a pride 
in those old days, and like to keep fresh their remem- 
brance. Their Chacham-bashi, or head Eabbi, serves his 
friends with confection made of white of eggs and sugar, 
called ' Spanish bread,' as a kind of memorial feast. But 
they cling with even warmer zeal to their old Hebrew 
rites and customs, and are so intolerant of innovation 
that, not long ago,'^ one of their leading merchants here 
was excommunicated for letting his wife wear long hair 
and dress herself in European fashion ! She might well 
have contented herself with the coiffure of her co-re- 
ligionists ; for, if too wanton tresses are curtailed, en 
revanche they wear a most gorgeous head-dress. We had 
seen in the bazaar some tasteful discs of embroidered 
work — flowered with a humming-bird brilliance of design 
— ^which we took to be meant for small mats, till we found 
that they were worn at the back of their heads by Jewish 

These Jews are the richest people in Serajevo, but 

1 I am indebted to Miss Irby for this fact. Were the Bosnian Jews to 
return to Spain, we should have a strange illustration of the fable of the 
* Seven Sleepers ' ! 

^ Maurer, who gives an account of the commercial frauds practised by 
the Sera je van Jews. 


alas ! this is not simply due to their commercial talents. 
It is unfortunately too true that a few years ago these 
astute Israelites made nearly 100,000/. out of Austrian 
and German houses by a system of fraudulent bankruptcy. 
They act as treasurers and interpreters to the Turkish 
authorities in Bosnia, and use the power thus acquired to 
amass further gains often not less ill-gotten. They are 
also the chief bankers here, and the only usurers. They 
are as dirty as their gains, and almost as degraded phy- 
sically as morally. That they are also undersized may 
possibly be connected with the fact that they will only 
marry within their community. On the other hand Miss 
Irby ^ states that ' their poor are exceedingly well cared 
for, and a Jewish beggar is never seen. No Jew is ever 
accused of murder, theft, or violence, or found in Turkish 
prisons, except on account qf debt.' 

The other members of our happy family are the Bos- 
niacs of the Greek Church — the Serbs or Pravoslaves, as 
they style themselves. Of these there are about 6,000 in 
Serajevo, and they approach the Serbs of the Free Princi- 
pality in dress as well as in name. They show, as may 
be seen, a great .variety of head-dress — sometimes the 
hair plaitecl round a central fez a la Serhe — sometimes 
light white muslin drapery — sometimes a fez stuck 
coquettishly on one side, from which descends what 
looks like a cascade of black hair flecked with golden 
spray, and of such a length as to fall about the hips. 
It needs close inspection to detect that this is really black 
silk interwoven with gold thread ; so that the Serbian 
maidens of Serajevo may be congratulated on adding 
a cubit to their tresses ! They further embejlish their 

* * Bosnia iu 1875.' See Victoria Magazine for November, 1875. 


hair with flowery sprays, and, on high days, both fez 
and bosom with a barbaric superfluity of jewellery — 
especially coins. They carry their fortune about with 
them, and a Bosniac girl is admired in proportion to 
the number of coins that spangle her! Perhaps the 
same may be seen elsewhere under a civilized disguise, 
but here it is paraded with all the naivete of the savage ! 
' What a pretty girl ! ' enthusiastically exclaimed a Bos- 
niac, in the Russian Hilferding's hearing; and on his 
asking with surprise what the Serajevan might find to 
admire in a flat nose and a decided squint : ' What ? 
Don't you see? There are ducats there to last a life- 
time ! ' But there is one kind of beauty which even the 
Bosniacs can admire, and that is — fatness! A fat^ girl 
is here synonymous with a beauty. 

The character of the Christian merchants of Sera- 
jevo is, perhaps, sufficiently indicated. They are, in 
truth, a money-grubbing, unamiable lot, and, it need 
hardly be added, set their faces against culture in every 
form. Next to the Jews, they are the richest class in 
Serajevo — richer than the Turks, for the Mahometan is 
incapacitated by his fatalistic want of enterprize from 
taking part in any but small retail trades. The Serbs, 
on the contrary, hold in their hands most of the ex- 
ternal commerce of the country, for which Serajevo is 
the natural staple, being the meeting-place of the main 
roads leading to Austria, North of the Save, Dal mat ia, and 
Free Serbia, and being situate on the caravan route to 
Stamboul. But they do not make use of the wealth thus 
obtained either to elevate themselves or to aid their 

* Pretyla, which means originally fat, is also used for beautiful I— 


oppressed countrymen who lie outside the pale of con- 
sular protection. On 'the contrary, they form themselves 
into an exclusive caste, not only standing apart from the 
miserable rayah, but even pooh-poohing his cry of agony 
when it happens to stand a chance of being heard by 
Foreign Consuls or the Turkish Governor. Is it likely, 
indeed, that they should do otherwise, with such a 
spiritual guide as the Fanar Metropolitan ? 

Just as characteristic of a narrow-minded bourgeoisie 
is the way in which they set their faces against any 
attempts to better their education. A few years ago a 
Serb of Serajevo, who had amassed what for a Bosniac 
was a fortune, as a merchant at Trieste, left a 
considerable sum of money to be applied in erecting a 
good school for the Pravoslave community here, on con- 
dition of a certain additional sum being subscribed by 
the Serajevan merchants. The Pravoslave community at 
large seem to have received the tidings of this generous 
bequest with sublime contempt; but one or two individuals, 
who hoped to profit by it as teachers, took the matter up 
and sent a circular to the European Consuls in the name 
of the whole Serb community, stating that that body 
' feeling the want of a good education for their sons, and 
wishing to carry out the design of their benefactor, 
solicited the aid and patronage of the representatives of 
enlightened Christendom.' This sounded very fine. The 
Consuls took the matter up, Mr. Holmes represented 
it to the English Government, and though nothing 
could be given officially, Lord Clarendon very kindly 
forwarded 30/. on his own behalf. Then the bubble 
burst. The Pravoslave community held an indignation 
meeting, in which they disavowed the circular of these 


interested enthusiasts for education : protesting that their 
children were well enougli taught at home, and that a 
new school they did not want, and a new school they 
would not have ! 

Two other most prominent classes of Serajevan society 
call for mention. One is the Board of Health, whose 
business it is to keep the streets comparatively clean. 
The members of this sanitary staff exercise their unclean 
office at night, when they patrol the streets in troops — and 
the offal which they then pick up is their only food ! At 
this season these scavengers, who are perpetually falling 
out among themselves, raise such a terrible hubbub as 
murders sleep to those unused to their rowdiness. More- 
over, it is hardly safe to walk across the street after dark, 
for these gentry will patch up their own quarrels and unite 
to assault the unwary foot-passenger ; and, though they 
have no other weapons than those wherewith nature has 
endowed them, such is the ferocity of their onset that I 
have myself seen a Turkish soldier forced to keep these 
guardians of the public health at bay with his sword. 
They do not wear either fez or turban (so far as we were 
able to observe), and in this they differ from the generality 
of Turkish officials ; but they are uniformed in a coarse 
hide of a muddy buff-colour, disfigured with mangy 
patches, usually out at elbows, and tattered by reason of 
their nocturnal brawls, in which they show themselves so 
transported with passion as to tear off each other's ears. 
By day they are very lazzaroni^ and are to be seen in the . 
streets (their only home), lying across the path or road- 
way on their stomachs — truly a disgusting spectacle. 
It is a custom not to be transgressed, that both the 
passers-by, and even waggons, should move out of tlieir 

282 THE ZAPTIEHS. CH. vi. 

way while my lords are taking their repose ; and it goes 
ill with him who should kick, or even, without hostile in- 
tent, stumble upon the prostrate sanitary officer, since he 
and his fellows — a score of whom (you may be sure) are 
ready at hand — are quick in taking the law into their own 
hands. Nor can their insulter expect either aid or pity 
from the bystanders ; for the citizens, rightly considering 
their profession as necessary to the public health, invest 
their person with a certain sanctity ; and, doubtless, were 
these brutish scavengers expelled by one gate, pestilence 
would stalk in by the other. 

Then there is another class of functionaries with 
whom the streets of Serajevo, and one in particular, are 
literally swarming, and who are even more brutal than 
this precious Sanitary Board. These are the Zaptiehs — 
call them, if you please, gendarmes, police, enlisting 
sergeants, soldiers, tax-collectors, executioners — for they 
are Jacks-of-all-trades. They are the factotums of the 
Mahometan government — a terrible engine in the hands 
of tyranny — ready to execute its worst behests. We 
have seen them as the instruments of the tax-farmer or 
the bishop, wringing the httle hoards of penury from the 
miserable rayah — or playing the part of apparitors in 
those Inquisition scenes of torture. These are the hired 
bravoes who live at free-quarters in the Christian villages ; 
rob, violate — and in many cases murder — whom they 
will. There are of course exceptions; and their worst 
offences are nothing to the infamy of the Government 
which lets loose ignorant fanatics among a population 
whom their creed teaches them to count as dogs, and 
which leaves them, without pay sufficient for their bare 
subsistence, to plunder those whom they nominally protect. 


When in the presence of Europeans they usually possess 
tact sufficient to keep on their good behaviour ; but from 
the atrocious scenes of which I myself was a witness at 
the Christian pilgrimage, their conduct, when freed from 
any restraint of foreign surveillance, may be faintly 
imagined. Those who have had most acquaintance with 
the country described them to us as ' covering the land 
like a blight.' Though there are enough of them in 
Serajevo in all conscience, we were assured that the 
number at present here is smaller than usual, since many 
have been sent out to collect the Eedif or reserve, and 
many have been hastily draughted into the soldiery. 
To-day a gang of these commissioned bandits has been 
scouring the country with orders to seize thirty horses, 
but they have only been able to lay hands on a couple. 
The Government exercises the right of seizing horses at 
need. Nominally it is only a loan, but the peasants rarely 
see their beasts back, and dare not hope for recompense 
of any kind ; besides which the owner is often impressed 
himself as kiradji or driver, without receiving a penny for 
this corvee. This forced labour and seizure of horses was 
one of the most crying wrongs of the Bosnian and Herze- 
govinian rayahs, and one of the many causes of the 
revolt, How inveterate must be that misgovernment 
which continues to sow the wind at the very moment that 
it is reaping the whirlwind ! 

Here, at least, affairs are becoming hourly more 
ominous. We hear tidings of a Christian victory near 
Novipazar, which means that the single road connecting 
Bosnia with the rest of Turkey is seriously threatened. 
Isolated tales of bloodshed and massacre form the com- 
mon topic of conversation. A Serb cuts the throat of a 


Turkish Mollah near Mostar ; the Christian is hanged ; his 
friends surprise a party of Mahometans in an inn, and 
massacre them to a man ; the cry for vengeance is now 
caught up by the Turks, and so the tragedy developes. 
Such details are revolting, but they give a true picture of 
the reign of terror which is setting in. To-day a large 
number of Austrian women, the wives of artizans beyond 
the Save, are leaving the town. 

This evening, our last in this city, a strange atmo- 
spheric phenomenon seemed to shadow forth the uncer- 
tainty of all around. In the afternoon it began to pour, 
and at first the clouds, as they shifted hither and thither, 
threw the mountains, that frown around the city on every 
side, into strange and novel rehefs. Then they sank 
lower, till they hung like a pall above mosque and 
minaret, and shrouded even the ' nodding hills ' around in 
impenetrable gloom — half cloud, half mountain. The 
city alone stood out with clear and well defined outlines 
in the livid half-light, but the mist literally lapped its 
outer walls, and so thickly, that a foe might have ap- 
proached to the very entrance of the town without possi- 
bility of detection. It was, indeed, portentous of the 
present state of Serajevo ; nothing but the present cer- 
tain ; her nearest future overclouded ; forebodings of in- 
ternecine struggles within ; the sulphurous vapours of 
civil and religious war rising around her — doubly awful 
in the uncertain fight of rumour. ' It is the beginning of 
the end,' said a foreign representative to us ; ' do not be 
surprised if you are surveying the last days of Ottoman 
rule iu the Serai.* 




Talismans and Phylacteries — Connection between the Geology of Illyria 
and her Cabalistic Science — Roman Gems, and Altar of Jove the Thun- 
derer — Amulets against the Evil Eye — On our Way again — The Gorge of 
the Zelesnica — Pursued by Armed Horseman — Sleep under a Haystack 
— Chryselephantine Rock-sculpture — Wasting her Sweetness on the 
Desert Air ! — Mt. Trescovica — The Forest Scenery of Mt. Igman — Trans- 
formations of the Herb Gentian — Reminiscences of the Karst — No 
Water ! — A Race against Night - Strange Bedfellows — A Bosnian- 
Herzegovinian House — We encounter Bashi-Bazouks — Cross the Water- 
shed between the Black Sea and Adriatic — First Glimpse of the Herze- 
govina — Signs of a Southern Sky — Coinica, the Runnimede of the Old 
Bosnian Kingdom — Great Charter of King Stephen Thomas — Our Host : 
the Untutored Savage — Absence of Nature's Gentlemen — Democratic 
Genius of Bosniacs and Southern Sclaves — The Narenta and its 
treacherous Waters — Iron Bridge — Entertained by Belgian Engineer — 
Murder of young Christian by two armed Turks — Trepidation of our 
Host and Preparations for Flight — Touching Instance of Filial Affection! 
— A Village of Unveiled Mahometans — Rhododactyls : Darwinianism 
refuted at last ! — The Tragic Lay of the Golden Knife — Magnificent 
Scenery of the Narenta Valley ; Amethystine Cliffs and Emerald Pools 
— A Land of Wild Figs and Pomegranates. 

Aug. 24:th. — This being our last morning in Serajevo, 
we thought it prudent, taking into account the troublous- 
ness of the times and the perils that might beset our 
further pilgrimage, to have recourse to those magic arts, in 
which the Moslems of this city show themselves so pro- 
ficient. To this end we have devoted the forenoon to ran- 
sacking the shops of the silversmiths, who chiefly traflfic 
in such wares, for amulets, and stones of divers virtues ; 


and, assuredly, if there be aught in ' mystic cabala and 
spells,' we may consider ourselves secure from evil. 

When the Turks knew for what we were lookincr, 
they brought out strange caskets, and opened many a 
hidden drawer, that they might set before us gems and 
talismans of antique form. And many of these turbaned 
sages who had not such wares to impart for filthy lucre, 
yet, that they might hold before us, as it were, a beacon 
wherewith to guide our footsteps in the path of true 
philosophy, would display to us the rings and periapts 
that they wore on their person, or would take out 
potent stones from their wallets for our perusal. By this 
means we obtained much instruction in the cabalistic 
science of these true behevers. Much virtue lies, it would 
appear, in the character of the stone itself, and a red car- 
nelian carried about the person, or set in a signet ring, is 
held as potent an amulet as any. 'Twas a stone hke this 
that the Princess Badoura wore in a purse attached to her 
girdle. When the curiosity of the luckless Camaralzaman 
prompted him to open this, he found therein ' a red car- 
nelian, engraven with unknown figures and characters. 
" This carnelian," says the prince to himself, " must have 
something extraordinary in it, or my princess would not 
be at the trouble to carry it with her." And indeed it 
was Badoura's talisman or a scheme of her nativity 
drawn from the constellations of heaven, which the Queen 
of China had given her daughter as a charm that w^ould 
keep her from any harm as long as she had it about her.* 

Many of the stones were simply signets for rings, and 
derived their virtue merely from their material — red car- 
nelian or blood-stone. These signets, however, not unfre- 
quently were engraved with stars or a branch of mystic 


import, besides the Arabic name of the bearer. The tahs- 
mans, pure and simple, are generally to be distinguished 
from simple seals by the writing not being reversed. To 
obtain such stones was naturally difficult, but I secured 
one, a red carnelian, engraved with the cabalistic words 
' Excellence belongs to God^ and another mysterious 
charm — a blood-stone with monogrammatic spells which 
no Arabian scholar has yet been able to decipher for me 
— arranged in a Solomon's seal. Ami Boue, who was 
struck with the number of charms used by the Mahome- 
tans of these parts, notices among the inscriptions on 
them, ' the servant of God,' ' / trust in God' Many curious 
parallels might be cited among the posies of old Enghsh 


It is interesting to notice the repute in which the 
blood-stone is held here for these sigils and talismans. 
Those who are familiar with Gnostic gems will remember 
how often this stone, as well as the carnelian, appears 
engraved with the names of lao, or Abrasax, or others of 
that mysterious race of genii. I have myself seen several 
Gnostic gems of this character from the Eoman sites of 
the Illyrian coast land, and indeed cannot refrain from 
hinting a suspicion that there may be something more 
than a chance connection between the abundance of such 
charms in ancient and in modern Illyria.^ Those who 
recognize how much the Mahometan Sclaves of Bosnia 
have preserved of their earlier Christian superstitions will 
hardly think it improbable that part at least of their wide- 
spread belief in the potency of such charms may be an 
inheritance from Pr^e-Turkish times . 

^ King, op. cit., connects the abundance of Gnostic remains in the Gothic 
part of France, with the triumph of the Albigensian and other heresies of 
the same area. The same may perhaps be true of the Bogomiles of Bosnia. 


To answer such questions with confidence more evi- 
dence is needed. This, however, is certain, that the 
present abundance of such charms in Bosnia is partly due 
to geological causes, being favoured by the presence of 
stones adapted for the manufacture, in some of the Illy- 
rian valleys. We saw many such stones vended on 
the bridges of Serajevo by itinerant pedlars — an abun- 
dance of rudely cut carnelians, blood-stones, amethysts, 
agates, and rock crystals — intended not only for sigils 
and amulets, but also for purposes purely ornamental. 
It was the abundance of such stones that made Illyria — 
as I hope to point out later on — the seat of a regular 
manufacture of Eoman gems. These seem to be found 
in considerable abundance on all Eoman sites in Illyria ; 
and even in Serajevo, where there are no remains of 
Eoman habitation beyond a solitary votive inscription to 
the Thunderer,^ we noticed several classic gems scattered 
among more modern talismans and signets. One which 
I succeeded in purchasing is a masterpiece of ancient art. 
The stone is a sard of a deep red colour, on which is en- 
graved a faun holding an amphora on his shoulder ; the 
proportions are perfect, and the whole so exquisitely en- 
graved, that not a flaw in the execution can be detected 
even with the aid of a strong magnifying-glass. 

The Prince of the Isles of the children of Khaledan 
was not more troubled when the bird of ill-omen snatched 

* This stone is now in the garden of the French Consulate. It reads 

I.0.M.||T0NITRA (t)||R0RI A/r!1mAXIMVS[|vI (?) p. AYQQ\\SALrTI. The (?) 

means that an uncertain letter is missed out. The Salttti is doubtful. I 
saw several Roman coins in the silversmiths' shops, and in some cases 
Ragusan coins found with them — another evidence of the way in which the 
Ilapusans may be said to have stepped into the shoes of the Romans in 
these parts. 

en. yir. CHRISTIAX AMULETS. 289 

tlie blood-red carnelian of Badoura from his grasp, than 
is a Bosniac who has lost or broken his talisman. At 
Jablanica, in the valley of the Narenta, we heard of a 
Turk who a few days before had broken his amulet-ring. 
The poor man's terror was piteous to see, and fearing that 
the injury to his charm portended that some terrible mis- 
fortune would overtake him, or that at least his hours were 
numbered, he immediately set out on a ten hours' journey 
to Mostar, that the injury might be repaired by cunning 

Not that this belief in charms is by any means con- 
fined to the Moslems of Bosnia. The Christians are 
equally given to it, and I saw some cabalistic gems with 
crosses and inscriptions in Cyrillian characters. The sale 
of amulets and charms, written on small slips of paper, is 
in fact a regular source of income to the Franciscan monks 
of this country, so much so that they no longer take the 
trouble to write their spells, but have called in the inven- 
tion of printing to aid the Black Art ! ' At the present 
day,' writes M. Yriarte, ' it is no secret that the printing 
of these little cards is a recognised branch of industry 
with certain typographic establishments at Agram and 
Zara.' ^ The spells consist of verses of Scripture disposed 
in the same cabalistic fashion as verses of the Koran 
among the native Mahometans ; they are folded in the 
shape of a hat and suspended in a small wallet round 
the neck of the ray ah, who looks to his purchase for 
protection against the Evil Eye and infernal spirits ! If 
the Franciscan monks take a leaf from the Koran, 
the Moslems on their part return the compliment ; and 
it is not the least curious trace of the lurking penchant 

^ Bosnie et Ilerzefjovme, p. 241. 


for the faith of their fathers betrayed by some of the 
descendants of the Bosnian renegades, that at times 
Mahometans have been known to send their amulets to 
the Franciscan monks that their blessing might lend an 
additional potency to the charm. 

Among the Mahometans here scrolls containing verses 
from the Koran are a very favourite amulet, and the modern 
Bosniacs show themselves as prone as the Pharisees of old 
' to enlarge their phylacteries.' Sometimes these sacred ex- 
cerpts are sewn into the dress, sometimes hung round the 
neck, or attached to the arm. One of our Zaptiehs showed 
us his, enclosed in a leathern case, in much the same 
manner as in a specimen which I have seen from Egypt. 
This was fastened round the upper part of his arm — a 
thoroughly Eastern mode of wearing amulets — ^if I may 
be allowed once more to call in evidence Prince Camaral- 
zaman, who, on recovering dear Badoura's carnelian, 
' having first kissed the talisman, wrapped it up in a 
ribbon, and tied it carefully about his arm/ 

But of periapts those that took our fancy most, and of 
which we took care to lay in a goodly store for our own 
use, were certain necklaces or amulets from which were 
suspended carnelian arrowheads. Of these there was a 
regular traffic, and we saw large bunches of them hung 
up for sale in the larger bezestan ; on enquiring their use, 
the merchant who sold them informed me that they were 
a most valuable and potent charm against skin diseases — 
in an Oriental city not an unimportant consideration — 
and insinuated, as a minor attraction, that if I wore them 
I need never be afraid of warts. I have seen exactly 
similar charms in Bulgaria, and others from Arabia, which 
are worn by the Arabs ' as good for the blood ' — so that 
their cutaneous virtues are widely appreciated. The Sera- 


jevan merchant said that they were imported from India 
— and, indeed, the Ganges may ahnost be said to have 
flowed into the Save ! But the miniature arrowheads of 
these amulets command as high an interest from their 
form as from their Indian origin ; and the sanctity with 
which superstition has invested what was once the every- 
day weapon of mankind, is one of the many proofs of 
the antiquity of that Stone Age which preceded the 
period when Bronze was the only metal known to man- 
kind, and, at a remoter distance, this blessed Age of Iron. 

Arrowhead Charms. 

We heard of other charms suspended round horses' 
necks, though I am not in a position to describe any of 
these. But perhaps the most curious amulets were those 
worn by children against the Evil Eye. Here are some 
that we succeeded in carrying off. Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, are of 
lead, severally representing a hare, a fish, a crested ser- 
pent, a tortoise. No. 5 is the claw of an eagle or some 
kind of bird, and No. 7 the horns of a stag beetle ; both 
of these are mounted in tin sockets. No. 6 is a rude face 
carved in jet. These are fixed on the child's fez, or else- 
where about the person, and the object served is to avert 
the first stroke, or as the Itahans say the Gettatura of the 
Cattiv' Occhio; this first stroke being alone considered 

u 2 



en. YTI. 

fatal. It is for this reason that the amulets against its 
malign influence are usually of bizarre forms, in order to 
attract the Gettatura to themselves. But the natural ob- 
jects — notably the animals, representations of which are 
used for this purpose here — are extremely interesting, in- 
asmuch as they very strongly suggest a continuity with 
the amulets against the Evil Eye in use in classic times. 
Thus, on ancient gems the eye is seen surrounded by a 
lion, a hare, a dog, a scorpion, a stag and a serpent.^ 
There is, besides, a well-known class of Eoman brooches 
in the form of flshes, the animals mentioned above, and 
others, which may, one would think, with great propriety 

Amulets against the Evil Eye. 

be looked on as nothing but amulets of the same kind, 
and many of which bear a striking resemblance to these 
Bosnian charms. Nor is this superstition, any more than 
the others, at all confined to the Mahometans of Bosnia ; 
it is universal among the Serbs, who, it is said,'^ find great 
deliverance from the evil effects of the Cattiv' Occhio by 
touching iron or looking at blue objects, and the Fran- 
ciscan spells already described are chiefly directed against 
this same malign influence. 

Having now fortified ourselves to our satisfaction with 

Also a thunder-bolt. 

See King's Gnostics and their Memains. 
* Ami Bou^. 


tliese and many talismans of virtue, and being supplied by 
our kind hosts at the Consulate with a store of wheaten 
bread, Bologna sausages, and eke Sicilian wine, we bade 
farewell to our friends at Serajevo, and set forth on foot 
once more. It was our intention to make our way as 
best we could to the Herzegovina over the wild ranges 
to the West, and, as the best line of attack on our moun- 
tain citadels, made for the gorge of the Zelesnica over the 
foot of lower hills. About an hour from Serajevo we 
passed the last trace of comparative civilization. This 
was a brewery recently established by two Austrian 
settlers, wdth one of whom we conversed whilst dis- 
cussing a glass of very fair German beer. The poor man 
was in a great state of trepidation. Only the day before 
his brother brewer had made off for the Austrian frontier, 
taking with him his family, and our liost himself was 
preparing to follow his partner's example as soon as he 
could get his effects together. ' It's not the Insurgents,* 
he said, ' that I'm afraid of — it's only the Turks. You 
can't believe what cut-throats those Bashi-Bazouks are ! ' 

This was hardly inspiriting for ourselves, nor did our 
prospects seem more brilliant when, an hour or so after- 
wards, in a lonely part of the Zelesnica valley, to which 
we had now descended, we heard a hue and cry behind 
us, and turning round saw a ferocious horseman armed 
to the teeth, clattering after us on a gorgeously capari- 
soned steed. Our infantry thereupon formed, and the 
cavalry halted a few paces off'. Whereupon our dragoon, 
who, from the sumptuousness of his arms, must have been 
a Beg at least, roared out to us some commands, in which 
the insolence alone was intelligible. Thereupon we con- 
tinued our march, resolved to pay no attention to the 


insults of the foe ; but seeing that he hung about our 
Hanks, and that his general demeanour was becoming 
momentarily more hostile, we made such an unmistak- 
able sign that we had been sufficiently honoured by his 
company that he thought better of the matter and beat 
a retreat. There is one weapon which in Bosnia serves 
as efficiently for a passport as the Bujuruldu of the 
Governor-General ! 

We were in a certain amount of anxiety lest the 
enemy should renew his attack with reinforcements, but 
the valley grew wilder and the darkness was rapidly 
closing in to hide our position. Further up the stream 
we passed those two monuments, one with a crescent 
moon engraved upon it, w^hich have been already de- 
scribed — and the position was one which the persecuted 
Bogomiles might well have chosen. Towards dusk the val- 
ley widened out a bit, and we perceived a village a little 
liigher up ; but not wishing to run the risk of letting our 
whereabouts be known, and infinitely preferring the open 
canopy of heaven to the vermin-ridden shelter of a Bos- 
nian cabin, we sought out some other resting-place for 
the night, and soon discovered ehgible quarters among 
some haystacks in a meadow by the side of the stream. 
These haystacks were of a peculiar form, being composed 
of small sheaves of hay skewered on an upright pole, but 
they afforded very welcome shelter from the night breeze ; 
so that after taking our tea and an evening meal of simple 
contrivance, we lay down and slept sound enough till 

Aug. 2bth. — We had breakfasted and were on our 
way again by half-past four next morning, and the 
light of tlie rising sun revealed to us a most beautiful 


cliff of rock, as it were of ivory veined with gold, rising 
above our encampment. After passing the straggling 
village of Jablanica, which we had seen the night before, 
the valley contracted, and we were forced to climb along 
a rocky steep overlooking the torrent on the left. The 
mountains on each side grew higher, wooded with small 
oaks, thorns, and beeches, with here and there a brilliant 
Colossus of rock in the same chryselephantine style ; while 
the stream below, pent up in so precipitous a gorge, 
naturally waxed more boisterous, and dashed from one 
emerald pool to another, flaked with snow-white foam. But 
our steep quickly became so impassable by reason of rocky 
bastions, that we were forced to relinquish our design of 
following the water-course, and in preference ascended 
the mountain whose flank we had been hitherto hugging. 
We made our way upwards with difliculty through the 
tangled brushwood, and from this summit descended 
once more through the stunted oaks, intending to steer 
for a hilly ridge running south-west towards Mt. Bielastica. 
Chancing, however, to hit on a path more or less in our 
direction, we followed it, and found ourselves before long 
at a small Christian hamlet consisting of two or three 
huts, each, as usual, in its paled enclosure. Here we found 
some peasants — men in long white tunics, women with 
dress and coiffure of Serbian fashion — all of whom were 
very friendly, and hastened to satisfy our thirst with sour 
milk. One of the girls, in the bloom of her age, 
was really beautiful. Both her hair and eyes, shaded 
with eyebrows low and broad, were dark, and, in the 
refinement of her features, the pale olive of her com- 
plexion, softly contrasting with her raven tresses and 
sparkling sombreness of eye, there was a charm almost 


Italian — had it not yet been eminently South-Sclavonic. 
She seemed as amiable as she was lovely, and was 
evidently recognised as a belle even in her small circle ; 
for she alone, we noticed, was possessed of earrings. 
Her comeliness was indeed the beau ideal of Serbian 
fancy; but I should hardly have drawn attention to it 
here, were not really transcendent beauty so rarely seen 
among these uncultured South-Sclavonic peoples, perhaps 
one might say, among the barbarous members of our 
Aryan family generally. In a highly civilized society 
like our own, the proportion of Peris — if I dare generahze 
— is greater ; but, on the other hand, if anyone wishes to 
find examples of the deepest human degradation, he must 
search, not among the mountain homes of the oppressed 
rayahs of Bosnia, but rather in the alleys of one of our 
great cities. With us the gamut of beauty is greater. 

But it is high time to take a fond farewell ! so, 
leaving this flower of the Bosnian highlands 'to blush 
unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air,' we 
began ascending our ridge, and finding another path, 
came, an hour or "so further on, to a leafy canopy sup- 
ported by four poles, beneath which squatted two vener- 
able Mahometans with sage and hoary beards. We 
recognised the signs of a rustic cafe^ and taking our seats 
on a convenient grassy bank, refreshed ourselves with 
sundry fragrant cupfuls, the while much delighting our 
ancient coffee-maker and his fellow with an exhibition of 
Enghsh hunting-knives. We soon after reached the sum- 
mit of the ridge, and following it along a succession of 
down-like lawns, gained, from its southern-most bluff 
just above the Priesnica torrent, a fine mountain pano- 
rama, and in especial a good view of the limestone preci- 



pices of Mt. Trescovica (which here forms the boundary 
between Bosnia and Herzegovina), frowning over lower 
forest-covered heights. So sharp was the contrast between 
the bold curves and contortions of the hght limestone rock 
and the softer contours and verdant shades beneath, that 
one could fancy that the green undulations of the Planinas 
round had at one point burst into foaming billows ; and, 
indeed, the mountain crest seemed to curl over as to 
imitate a breaking wave, — but alas ! how flat is the poetry 

Mount Trescovica, from South -Eastern Spur of Mount Igman. 

of nature when reduced to black and white by a prosaic 
pencil ! 

We now wanted to make our way into the Narenta 
valley over the north-west shoulder of Mt. Bielastica, but 
were turned out of our course by the deep gorge of the 
Priesnica, and thought it best to ascend the south-eastern 
promontory of a largish range known by the name of Mt. 
Igman — though the title covers a multitude of peaks. 



CH. vir. 

The scenery now became more beautiful than ever, 
though profoundly lonely, save here and there for a beau- 
tiful black squirrel leaping from branch to branch, or a 
huge brown vulture floating through the azure overhead. 
The steeps up which we now made our way were covered 
with forest more varied in its composition than those of 
Troghir and Vucia. Beech, as there, was the predominant 
tree ; but oaks and thorns, dark firs and pines, glaucous 
ashes and fountainous birches — often so happily blended 

Mount Bielastica from slopes of Mt. Igmau. 

and grouped as to transcend the planter's art — disputed 
the sole dominion of the queen of the forest. The trees 
were perhaps hardly so large, as a rule, as those we had 
seen in the mountains of more northern Bosnia, but we 
noticed one pine no less than eighteen feet in circum- 
ference at a yard from the ground. Another speciality of 
this forest-mountain was that the trees were not so thickly 
crowded, and grew more freely. The sovereign beech has 


no need to gird herself so closely, but can stretch out her 
queenly arms, and spread far and wide her leafy flounces 
without fear of her robes being pressed and crumpled by 
the crowd. Glades are here more frequent, and ever and 
anon a charming lawny break would open a vista through 
the trees, and we caught a glimpse of the distant ridge of 

We reached two summits of the mountain we were 
on, the first by our aneroid 4,350 feet above sea-level, 
the second 4,560. About these summits, which were less 
wooded than the lower regions, we found a variety of 
flowers, recalling the flora of our chalk downs — the 
yellow snapdragon, the scabious, white as well as mauve, 
and the heartsease, though larger and of a richer purple, 
much as we remembered them on our own Chilterns ; and 
here, as there, the chalk-hill blue seemed the commonest 
butterfly. But besides these we noticed rosy sweet-wil- 
liams and autumn crocus, with its double trinity of lilac 
petals — iris-like — a design for a gothic window. On one 
summit, gained earlier in the day, we found a curious 
bulbous plant with a tall stalk and drooping purple bells, 
each curving down on a separate stem like a pigmy 
snake's head ; ^ and some mountain lawns shone blue as 
the sky above, with a wondrous thistle whose leaves as 
well as flowers were tinged on their upper surface with a 
bright azure. 

But what surprised me most, was to see the Solomon's 
seal-like flower, which we had noticed in all the Bosnian 
forests, bristle up erect and stiff" on the breezy mountain 
summit, after undergoing such a transformation that I 
should not have known it for the same plant had not I 

^ Fritillaria. 

300 NO WATER ! CH. VII. 

marked the gradual transition. It was now for the first 
time that I identified the mysterious floral weeping- 
willow, which had delighted us so often, witli an old 
friend — the autumn gentian. As we descended the moun- 
tain we watched the transition with astonishment. The 
flowers, instead of circling the upright stem in a perfect 
coronal, crept to the upper side of it as it gradually de- 
clined. The leaves and bells grew larger — the stem as 
much as two feet long — till in the damper parts of the 
forest the whole was once more transformed into what 
looked like Solomon's seal with tall azure cups stretching 
upwards from the back of its drooping stem — a perfect 
emblem of hope in sorrow. 

But a curious feature in the mountain formation began 
to make itself painfully felt. There was no water. All 
the streams ran below ground. Vale and mountain were 
alike pitted with those inverted-conical hollows — the 
Dolinas, which we remembered in the limestone wilder- 
ness of Carniola — that terrible Karst. These circular 
hollows are nothing but swallow-holes, formed b}' the 
water in its passage to the caverns of its underground 
course. And so it happened that we were forced to 
climb on, hour after hour, through the mid-day heat of 
a Southern sun, without discovering a drop to drink. Our 
intense thirst rendered us so desperate that we willingly 
forsook our proper course to plunge into deep gorges in 
the forlorn hope of finding water. But it was invariably 
to find that all our labour had been wasted, and that 
we must climb upwards once more and seek elsewhere. 
Three times we tliouglit that we had succeeded, and 
as many times we were disappointed ; twice what we 
hoped to be drinkable turned out to be a filthy pool, 


almost too bad for cattle ; once, however, we thought to 
have procured some from a sheplierd whose temporary 
hut had attracted our attention from a height above. The 
poor man went and fetched us a bucket of liquid, but it 
was green slime ! At last, about four in the afternoon — 
after eight hours of hard struggle since the coffee which w^e 
had quaffed at the roadside shed — almost fainting with 
drought we found, in a moist part of a track that we had 
hit on, some mules' footprints, in which some of the rain- 
water from the storm of the previous day was still stand- 
ing. This we eagerly sucked up through a hollow hem- 
lock stem ; and, though the beaker was novel, were much 

But what with our frantic searches after water and 
vain attempts to find a pass which exists nowhere but on 
the Major's map, we had diverged very seriously from 
our right direction ; and, on reaching a mountain edge, 
we discerned ourselves far out in our bearings, and far 
too much to the north-east. Two thousand feet below 
us we descried an inhabited country, and, delicious 
sight! a stream ; and though night was closing in, and 
both my brother and myself are subject to the incon- 
venience of being night-blind, we resolved, if possible, to 
descend to this friendly valley before darkness set in. It 
was a race against night ; but we literally bounded down, 
and striking on a shepherd's path, were able to run the 
rest of the way, and descended two thousand feet and 
were quenching all the thirst of the day in the crystal 
stream, within half an hour from the time when we 
reached the mountain edge. A peasant whom we here 
met conducted us to a Han on the high road a little way 
off, and we found ourselves under shelter exactly sixteen 



en. vn. 

hours after our start in the morning, during which time 
we had given ourselves hardly any rest. 

Aug. 2Qth. — Our Han was a miserable little hovel, 
consisting chiefly of one room, which served at once for 
kitchen, squatting-room, and bedchamber, in whicli we 
slept on a wooden dais amongst a lot of ragged Turks ; 
but travellers must expect strange bed-fellows — and after 
all, our chamber was comparatively flealess. We found 
that we were on the high road which connects Serajevo 
with Mostar, the capital of the Herzegovina, but on the 
wrong side of the pass, and about seven hours' walk from 
Coinica, the first town in the duchy of St. Sava, and our 

Plan of Bosnian Han. 

this day's destination. We stopped on our way to refresh 
ourselves at a Han, of which I give a plan and elevation, 
in order to convey an idea of the ordinary cottage in this 
part of Bosnia : for the dwelling-houses are like tlie inns, 
except that their entrance arch opens on to the yard and 
not on to the road. The lower part is, as usual, reserved 
for horses and cattle. Making your way through these 
stables you ascend a ladder in the middle and emerge 
above on a central hall, at once guest-room and kitchen, 
with a divan at one end round a bay window open to the 
air, and the rafters above literally tarred by the smoke 


which rises from a chimney less hearth of flat stones. Tlie 
external walls here are of stone — a Herzegovinian charac- 

We now ascended the pass which here forms the 
watershed between the Black Sea and the Adriatic, and on 
our way met a party of Bashi-Bazouks, — according to 
all accounts the most serious danger that we were liable 
to meet with. They stopped us ; but by great good for- 
tune there happened to be a regular officer with them 
who understood our pass, and explaining its purport to 
the others, suffered us to pass on amidst commendatory 
ejaculations of ' Dohro ! dobro ! ' — ' Good ! good ! ' This 
piece of luck we attributed not only to the amulets on our 
person, but to the herb amulet^ or cyclamen, which bloomed 
in the crevices of the cliffs, and a few of whose delicious 
flowers we had plucked, and with great forethought carried 
with us. The summit of the pass was, according to our 
observations, 3,080 feet above sea-level. Just here we 
had another shght adventure, for entering what we took to 
be a new Han, we discovered on reaching the upper storey 
that it was a Turkish watch-tower — one of the block- 
houses hastily run up on the outbreak of the insurrection. 
The soldiers, however, justly concluding that none but 
friends would plunge thus boldly into their midst, showed 
themselves very friendly, and gave us water, which we 
asked for, to drink. We met some other parties of 
volunteers, but were not molested. 

As we descended the pass towards the valley of the 
Narenta, the scenery became grand and beautiful. To 
the left rose the grey limestone precipices of Bielastica, 
above the nearer forest-covered heights. The base of 
the mountain forms a wooded slope ; above this sue- 



en. Tii. 

ceeds a barren glacis of talus, and above this again tower 
the perpendicular walls of the mountain-citadel itself 
(for it looks uncommonly like an ancient fortress), with 
here and there magnificent bastions and even round- 
towers of rock, relieving the rugged-level hue of the 
citadel walls. To the right of us rose another nearer 
wall of rock, along whose surface our roadway had been 
hewn out, in places not without engineering skill. This 
cliff was of a schistose formation, stained of the most 

First Glimpse of the Herzegovina. 

brilliant varieties of hue — rich browns of every shade, a 
golden orange and a rose so deep and decided that we 
invoked the neighbouring cinnabar mines of Cresevo in 
order to account for it. In places, again, tlie rocky wall 
was formed of sombre slate, but it too could take exqui- 
site hues of lilac in a favourable light, and as we de- 
scended lower into the valley the rocks grew w^hite as 
chalk. Below us was the deep gorge of a torrent, and 




on its further side the strata were in places knotted 
and grained and gnarled, hke the roots of an old oak- 

Now, at a turn of the road, opens our first glimpse of 
the ancient duchy of St. Sava — or, as it is now more gene- 
rally known, the Herzegovina — a magnificent vista of 
rocky mountains rising beyond the yet unseen valley of 
the Narenta, their dark blue shadows golden-fringed by 
the setting sun. The trees become more southern in 

View of Ooinica. 

their character ; here and there are fine Spanish chest- 
nuts ; on a height to the right are the pines of an Italian 
landscape ; wild vine becomes plentiful once more ; we 
pass a Herzegovinian peasant in a peaked cap of Dalmatian 
character ; and finally come in sight of Coinica, the first 
Herzegovinian town, with mosque and minaret reflected 
on the silvery waters of the Narenta ; and behind, in a 
glorious amphitheatre, those barren limestone peaks, 


which, stretching away in unbroken chains to the Black 
Mountain on the south-east, form the Switzerland of 
Turkey, and are ringing even now with the battle-cry of 

Across the river, and connecting the few houses on 
the Bosnian shore, known as Neretva, with Coinica on 
the other, is stretched a fine stone bridge, the finest we 
had seen in Bosnia, and indeed the only one that we had 
seen outside the walls of the capital. This is one of 
the oldest historic monuments in the country, and is said 
to have been the work of Hralimir,^ King of the Serbs, 
though it has doubtless been restored by the Turks. 
Thus it is a living witness of the ancient connection be- 
tween Bosnia and Serbia, in its wider sense, with which the 
history of Herzegovina, originally under Serbian princes, 
begins; and it forms a fitting avenue of approach to 
Coinica itself, which is celebrated in the history of the 
Bosnian kingdom as the scene of one of the few peaceful 
events in that unhappy national story that have become 
memorable. Coinica was in a certain sense the Kunny- 
mede of Bosnia. At the * Conventus ' or diet of Coinica 
in 1446, Thomas, last lawful king of this country, set his 
seal to a charter, which, though rather framed to pro- 
tect royalty and the feudal regime^ was in this sense a 
popular measure, that it was designed to check violence 
and abuses in days of anarchy, and that it was presented 
to the king for signature by an assembly of prelates and 
barons, who in a certain sense were representiitive. Its 
preservation is due to monks of the order of St. Francis, 
one of whom supplied a Latin copy of it to Farlato, 

* Hralimir in the first half of the eleventh century had married the 
sister of the Bosnian Ban Niklas, his vnss;il. 


who was thus able to insert it in his ' Illyricum Sacrum.'^ 
As we are on the spot, and as this is an unique con- 
stitutional memorial of the old Bosnian kingdom, and 
illustrates amongst other things the relation in which the 
two countries on whose borders we now are stood to 
one another in the days of Christian government, I have 
ventured to subjoin a translation : — 

We, Stephen Thomas, by the grace of God, King o£ Rascia, Servia, 
of the Bosnians or lUyrians, of the parts of Primorie of Dalmatia and 
of Croatia, commit to memory, by the authority of these present, to all 
whom it may concern as hereinafter ordained. 

In an Assembly, holden by us in our land of Coinica,^ and in our 
Congregation General,^ all our faithful vassals, prelates, barons, Voivodes, 
and elders,'* and all elected nobles of all the counties of our realm 
treating of those things which pertain to the peace and well-being of 
our realm : these foresaid elders, amongst other praiseworthy ordi- 
nances, set before us and presented certain articles hereinafter set forth, 
humbly praying that we would think well to confirm the articles afore- 
said : — 

Firstly — That the Manichaeans * build no new church, nor restore 
the old. 

Secondly — That goods given to the Church be not taken away. 

Thirdly — That if any one slay a man, let him by royal judgment be 
cast into prison, and let his goods be divided into two parts, one part 
to be forfeited to the king and one part to the kinsmen of him slain. 

Fourthly — That when the councillors, secretaries, Voivodes, and 
counts of the royal court,^ are chosen, they must solemnly swear oath 
to the king. 

Fifthly — That the Duke' of St. Sava be not lawful duke unless he 
be chosen by the king of Rascia, Serbia, and Hlyricum. After election 
let him swear oath to the king's majesty. But if he presume to 
exercise office without taking the oath, the king's majesty shall punish 

1 Farlato appears to have obtained this from a Vladmirovid, a member 
of the same noble family as the bishop who, in the capacity of secretary, 
drew up the document for the king. 

* In pago nostro de Cogniz. ^ In general! congregation e. 

* Proceribus. ^ The Bogomiles are meant. 
® Sedis Regiae. ' Ilerzegh Sancti Sabbae. 

X 2 


Sixthly — That incestuous and the corrupters of kinspeople be 

Seventhly — That the betrayers of fenced cities ^ and of their lords pay 
the penalties of their treason ; and also the utterers of false money. 

To the perpetual memory and confirmation of which things we 
have sanctioned the constitutions written in this Charta by the setting 
on of our great seal : by the will and counsel of the lords, prelates, 
Voivodes, and elders of the whole kingdom. Given at Coinica, and 
written by the most reverend iather in Christ, lord Vladimir Vladmi- 
rovi(5, bishop of Cresevo and of the Narentines, of the Greek rite, sec- 
retary of our court,^ and doctor of Greek letters and laws,^ our beloved 
and faithful, in the year of our Saviour 1446. 

Here follow the names of the signataries. At the head the Papal 
Nuncio, the Inquisitor-General, and Vicar of Bosnia. For the Greek 
communion the Metropolitan of Dioclea, ' patriarch of our realm,' a 
series of bishops and Minorite fathers, and the Vladikas of the Greek 
rite. • At the head of the lay vassals is the respectable and magnificent 
Stepan, Duke of St. Sava, with his sons ; our dear brother the Ban of 
Jaycze, Eadivoj Vladmirovic Count and Judge of our Court, Stepan 
Vlatkovic our councillor and Ban of Ussora, John Covacic, Voivode 
of our parts of Dalmatia, Peter Paulovi<5, Voivode of Glasinac, and 
master of our dish-bearers,^ Paul Kubretid Voivode of Zvornik and 
master of our cup-bearers, and * many other Voivodes of our kingdom 
holding Voivodeships and honours.' 

The cry is peace, and there is no peace ! There is a 
pathos in these short enactments — the voice of national 
despair soimding faintly down the avenue of time. 

The crops have ab-eady been trodden down beneath the 
troops of Turkish horsemen. The foe is at the gates, and 
anarchy and treason reign within. The discordant parties 
and turbulent nobles seem at length to reahse that Bosnia 
must unite or perish. For a moment the bans forget 

* Caatra. 

'* All he. 

' It is interesting to observe the Byzantine influence on the Bosnian 
court and civilization which this charter incidentally reveals. It seems con- 
nected with the flourishing state of the Eastern Church in Bosnia at this 
time, and is further evidenced by the titles of the court officials. 
, ^ Or Dapifers. 


their mutual feuds, and the bishops of both churches 
agree as brothers. Let the murderer no longer be un- 
punished ; let Holy Church no longer be robbed with 
impunity ; let the great barons of the land cease to dis- 
own their fealty to their sovereign ; let some restraint be 
put upon the corruption of family life ; let the coinage no 
longer suffer debasement. The Grand Inquisitor himself 
sets his seal to an act by which the hated Bogomiles are 
accorded comparative toleration. But it is all too late. 
Already the national treason shows symptoms of begin- 
ning, and it is found necessary to insert a special enact- 
ment against those betrayers of fenced cities. The im- 
pending national catastrophe seems to overshadow this 
High Court of Feudal Bosnia, just as even now in the 
still evening air the shadows of yonder mountains are 
creeping over the mosques and minarets of Coinica, and 
spreading a pall over the tents which the Turkish soldiery 
have pitched on the Bosnian bank. 

One cannot wonder that Coinica was chosen as the 
meeting-place of the lords spiritual and temporal of 
Christian Bosnia. The situation on the one pass which 
connects the heart of Bosnia and her present capital with 
the duchy, and the magnificent bridge which here spans 
the Narenta, make it the key to the Herzegovina ; and 
even the Turks have shown themselves so alive to its 
strategic importance that on the outbreak of the insur- 
rection one of the first cares of the government was to 
secure the position by posting here a division of troops, 
whose tents we now descried on a height above the Na- 
renta, as — after a short and satisfactory audience with 
the Kaimakkm, whom we interviewed in a house w^hich 
he w^as building on the Bosnian shore— we crossed the 

310 ' THE UNTUTORED SAVAGE.' ch. vn. 

bridge, and, entering Coinica, find ourselves in tlie old 
duchy of St. Sava. 

Here, after some difficulty, we have discovered a Han 
— or rather a loft above a stable — and the attendance is 
certainly in keeping with the place ! We are waited on 
by a turbaned youth, who is a very good specimen of the 
untutored savage, as he exists in Bosnia at the present 
day. He comes into our room and gapes at us while we 
are eating ; he takes up our scrap of wheaten bread — a 
bonne-bouche which we had brought with us from Serajevo 
. — and fingers it complacently. When we ask for water, 
this child of nature snatches up the pitcher, and before 
handing it to us takes a good pull at the spout himself! 
Since then he has stared at us persistently, with interludes 
of spitting about the floor. We have hinted in every 
possible way that he is de trap — but to hints our young 
barbarian shows himself quite unapproachable — till at 
last all our respect for the sanctity of a host fairly breaks 
down, and we rid ourselves of our incubus by the magic 
word Haiti! 

Nature's gentlemen the Bosniacs certainly are not ! 
There is not here that surviving polish of an older civili- 
zation — that inheritance of refinement which one traces 
amongst the Italian peasants, and which the traveller 
meets with even among the Eouman shepherds of the Carpa- 
thian wilds. The Bosniacs, on the contrary, show them- 
selves grossly familiar when not cowed into bearish re- 
serve ; they have not even sufficient tact to perceive when 
their impertinence or obtrusive curiosity is annoying. 
They show no delicacy about prying into our effects, 
and in this respect are far behind the Wallacks and 
other uncivilized European populations with whom I hava 


come in contact. They never displayed gratitude for any 
small largess that we bestowed on them, though they 
grabbed at it with avidity ; and their general ingratitude 
was confirmed by those who have had more experience 
of the country. Amongst the Mahometan burghers there 
certainly is a very considerable amount of politeness 
and a natural dignity, due to the grand Oriental tradi- 
tions with which their conversion to Islam has imbued 
them, to which I willingly pay homage. But among 
the Christians, even of the highest social strata, the want 
of politeness and that ungenerous vice of mean spirits — ^ 
ingratitude — are simply astounding. It has already been 
mentioned that when the new Serbian cathedral was 
being built, the Eussian government presented the Greek 
congregation of Serajevo with a magnificent set of icons 
and other church furniture. This costly gift was sent 
carriage free as far as Brood ; but from this town to Sera- 
jevo the cost of transport, amounting to at most a dozen 
or so ducats, fell on the Christian merchants of Serajevo, 
who, on their own showing, are the wealthiest part of the 
population of a large city. Will it be believed ? — instead 
of paying the money at once and with pleasure, they 
entered a formal protest at the Eussian Consulate against 
defraying this trifling expense ! The Eussian Consul was 
profoundly disgusted. 

But I should be guilty of passing a very shallow 
judgment on the sometimes too obtrusive familiarity of 
these people if I did not point out that it is but an un- 
pleasant phase of what is really one of the most valuable 
qualities preserved by the Bosnian people in the days of 
bondage. It is part and parcel of a democratic habit of 
mind common to the whole Serbian, and indeed the 


whole South-Sclavonic race. It is the representative in 
conversation of those primitive social relations which hold 
throughout all these lands within the common yard of the 
house-community, and have survived alike the imported 
feudalism of the Middle Ages, and the Turkish conquest. 
In these Illyrian lands I have often been addressed as 
' brat^' or brother, and the Bosniacs are known to call the 
stranger ' shija ' — neighbour. I, who write this, happen 
individually not to appreciate this ' egalitaire ' spirit. I 
don't choose to be told by every barbarian I meet that he 
is a man and a brother. I believe in the existence of 
inferior races, and would Hke to see them exterminated. 
But these are personal mislikings, and it is easy to see 
how valuable such a spirit of democracy may be amongst a 
people whose self-respect has been degraded by centuries 
of oppression, and who in many respects are only too 
prone to cower beneath the despot's rod : for one need 
not be enamoured of liberty coupled with equality and 
fraternity not to perceive that, when the choice lies 
between it and tyranny, freedom, even in such com- 
panionship, is to be infinitely preferred ; and a man must 
be either blind or a diplomatist not to perceive that in 
the Sclavonic provinces of Turkey the choice ultimately 
hes between despotism and a democracy almost socialistic. 
Aug, 27th. — There was nothing to see in Coinica 
except the bridge and a mosque or two, so we were again 
on our way this morning, following the road along the 
Narenta valley. The scenery much reminded us of the 
valley of the Izonzo as you descend southwards across 
the Julian Alps. The whiter and more barren rocks : 
the signs of a more southern climate in the ripe grapes 
and wliat vegetation there was, as well as in the in- 


tense heat of the sun over our heads : the houses, no 
longer of wood, but of white stone,^ almost tower-like, 
with high stone stairs outside — recalled one after the 
other the metamorphoses which had struck us on a 
former pilgrimage when emerging on the stifling valleys 
of Gradisca from the Predil Pass. And assuredly the 
Narenta flowing beside us was as emerald green in its 
transparency as ever those Sontian pools which feasted 
Dante's eyes when the guest of Pagano della Torre. The 
Narenta in its upper course is very dangerous to bathe in, 
since the current is not only very rapid, but has short cuts 
by underground caverns which form whirlpools not easy 
to detect in the general turmoil of the surface waters, but 
which are capable none the less of occasionally sucking 
down into earth's bowels some of the enormous trees 
which are seen to float down this river. We, however, 
discovered a safe and sheltered pool of this wonderful blue- 
emerald purity, in which we disported ourselves while 
the soup of our mid- day meal was brewing on the shore. 
Towards evening, still following the road, we began 
to leave the Narenta valley, and to cut ofi* a great bend 
of its course by zigzagging over some heights. Here we 
passed some sick and wounded Turks en route from the 
scene of war, and other soldiers with them, but our pass 
again stood us in good stead. The heights above the road 
looked more desolate than any we had seen, as the brush- 
wood had been set on fire, apparently to prevent the 
enemy from advancing unperceived and perhaps sur- 
prising a convoy, so that, as we passed, volumes of smoke 
were rising above us from blackened thickets. Prom the 
summit of this pass opened out a grand view of naked 

* The best stone houses in Turkey are said to be in the Herzegovina. 

314 THE IRON BRIDGE. CH. vii. 

mountain peaks. Eapidly descending we came once more 
upon the Narenta at a point where a party of Turks, 
under the direction of a Belgian engineer, were using 
their best endeavours to complete an iron bridge across 
the river. 

The Belgian engineer, who had been kindly told by 
consular agency to look out for us, received us with open 
arms, and hospitably offered us the shelter of his tent for 
the night. He told us, as a good illustration of Turkish 
laisser-aller, that the bridge, which had been brought here 
at a large expense from England, had lain for two years 
on the river bank without being set up. At last the out- 
break of the insurrection harshly aroused the authorities 
to a sense of their negligence ; and now the work has to 
be pushed on with the greatest hurry imaginable, as the 
bridge is becoming every day more indispensable for the 
transport of cannon and other heavy munitions and 
supplies into the Herzegovina. The workmen employed 
are only Mahometans, but there are some booths hard- 
by for the sale of raki and provisions, kept by a small 
Christian colony. The Belgian himself lodged at the 
Mahometan village of Jablanica, a little further down the 
valley, whither we presently accompanied him to accept 
of his hospitable shelter. 

As we were walking towards this our engineer pointed 
to a part of a maize-plot on the roadside to the right, 
where the maize was shghtly trodden down. ' Do you 
see that?' he asked ; 'perhaps you would like to know 
how the maize got trodden down there ? ' 

He then recounted to us the following narrative, 
which, coming from an eye-witness, served to enlighten 
us considerably as to the amenities of Turkish rule. 


It must be prefaced tliat at the present time no one 
can go from one village to another without being pro- 
vided with a teskeri or Turkish pass, and that it was one 
of the functions of the Belgian engineer, as head of the 
Eoad Commission, to examine and set his vise on the 
teskeris of all who passed along this road. A few days 
ago a young Herzegovinian Christian — a fine young fellow, 
according to the Belgian — stopped at his tent and showed 
his pass, which proved to be quite en regie, and was 
vised by the engineer accordingly. He then proceeded 
on his way with a light heart, but as he was passing by 
the booths which I have mentioned near the bridge, two 
Turks — not officials or soldiers of any kind, but armed 
nevertheless — came up and insolently demanded to see 
his teskeri. This they had not a shadow of a right to 
ask for ; but the young fellow, knowing that in this 
country might is right, did not hesitate to comply, and 
handed his teskeri for their examination. Thereupon the 
two Mahometans, who could not read a syllable, swore 
that the whole thing was wrong, and seizing hold of the 
young rayah began to drag him along, crying out to the 
Christians at the booths that they were taking him off to 
the Eoad Commission. 

But they had not proceeded far when they suddenly 
fell upon him, and hauling him off into the maize where 
we had seen it trampled down, butchered him with seven 
blows from their handshars, one of which half cut 
through his neck. They then made off in broad day- 
light, making their way through the Christians and others 
whom the young fellow's cries were bringing to the scene 
of the tragedy — not a soul daring to lay a hand on the 
murderers, who were also Turks I The Belgian, who was 


in his tent, had been also roused by a loud ' Homaum I 
homaum / ' as he expressed the cries, and coming out, 
found the young rayah, who had succeeded in crawling 
to the road, past human assistance. 

The Belgian at once sent for Zaptiehs to arrest the 
murderers ; but by the time these functionaries were on 
their way the birds were flown. At any rate they never 
arrested them — but it is well known that Zaptiehs often 
let felons escape on purpose, if they are true believers. 

When I say that since this event the Belgian has been 
in a state of painful agitation, I am but feebly expressing 
the state of mind in which we found that unfortunate 
official. His colleague, an Italian, has already made off — 
and the poor man himself has been exercising his engi- 
neering sagacity in planning the nearest route over the 
mountains by which to escape to the Dalmatian frontier. 
He had collected his effects, and was ready to start at a 
moment's notice. He thought he could reach the border 
at the nearest point in ten hours. He was most afraid 
of the Bosniac Mussulmans, and especially of the Bashi- 
Bazouks ; and when we suggested that he, being in the 
Turkish service, ought at least to feel secure, he assured 
us that this was not sufficient to restrain the fanaticism of 
the native Moslems, who regard the office of an engineer 
with pious horror, and curse the new-fangled iron bridge 
whenever they pass it, as the devil's handiwork ! His 
fears were so genuine that he dared not walk as far as 
the bridge — just five minutes off — ^without an" escort of 
Zaptiehs ! 

The engineer's funk, however, did not prevent him 
from providing us with a most satisfactory repast, con- 
sisting of J0^7^, eggs, and fried slices of gourd, which are ex- 
cellent. He told us that had it been earlier in the summer 


it would not have been safe to sleep in his tent, as this 
spot, as well as the whole J^arenta valley, is infested in 
June with snakes and scorpions. Dviring that month the 
peasants dare not go about with bare feet, as they like to 
do at other seasons ; and indeed, though the dangerous 
season has passed, we have noticed that the people about 
here are more swathed as to their legs than ordinary 

Aug. 2Sth. — This morning our Belgian, who was 
hardly reassured by the news which we brought from 
Serajevo, has suddenly discovered that he has a pressing 
engagement at Trieste — to meet his mother — and hands 
us a letter to the Yali demanding ' a temporary leave of 
absence ' — his sole object of course being to visit the old 
lady. We were much touched by this display of filial 

The heat being again cruel, we secured the luxury of 
a horse to carry our knapsacks to Mostar, the destination 
of our to-day's trudge ; and, while waiting for the due 
equipment of our beast in the yard of our Mahometan 
Kiradji or driver, we have leisure to observe a most 
curious phenomenon in the costume of the female Moslems 
of this district. In every other part of Bosnia and the 
Herzegovina the veil is de ligueur with the wives and 
mothers of the faithful. But here at Jablanica, and in 
this part of the valley of the Narenta on both sides of the 
spot where the little river Eama ^ debouches into it, the 
Mahometan women discard their yashmak^ with one. 

^ The little river Rama — which is the first stream in Bosnia, after crossing 
the frontier from the Herzegovina by the Narenta valley highway — is in- 
teresting from having given the name Rama to the whole country before 
it was known as Bosnia. 

^ As a parallel instance to this, I may mention that in parts of Upper 
Albania, according to Ami Boue, the Mahometan women are to be seen 


accord, and not only show themselves before strangers 
of the other sex bare-faced, but do not blush to hold 
converse with them. It is true that even here they 
display on occasion a certain shyness of male regards ; 
and the Belgian warned us that, if looked at too curiously, 
they did not confine themselves to a prudish Haiti ! but 
were known to vindicate their modesty with a volley of 
stones. We, however, were never saluted after this 
fashion, the fair Mahometans contenting themselves at 
most with turning away their faces from the passing 

But while waiting in our Kiradji's yard, we were 
treated with far greater condescension by the womankind 
of his family. The yard itself was very unlike the stock- 
aded prison-court of our earlier Bosnian experiences. 
Here, instead of the tall palisade which as a rule so effec- 
tively screens the members of the harem from the public 
gaze, was simply a low stone wall ; and while we were 
contemplating the dwelling-house, built, hke the yard 
wall, of the rough limestone of the country, and ad- 
miring the elegant ogival windows, out came an old Ma- 
hometan dame and two younger women — the mother, we 
conjectured, and two daughters of the house — and calmly 
took stock of us with faces unveiled, and without the 
slightest sign of bashfulness. They smiled, and we smiled, 
and though our stock of Bosniac was limited, we made 
ourselves intelligible to one another by means of the uni- 
versal language of signs, and in this fashion carried on a 
very edifying conversation. As the old lady was particu- 
larly desirous of trying on our spectacles, we hastened to 
gratify her wishes ; and as we were particularly anxious 
to see the carnelian and other rings of virtue that adorned 


their fair fingers, they obligingly held out their hands 
for our perusal. We were pleased to see the finger-nails 
of these would-be Houris stained with rosy henna — a 
fond reminiscence of the wings, which, as every true- 
believer knows, Eve lost little by little when driven forth 
beyond the gate of Paradise. Here, at last, we have 
Darwin defeated on his own ground ! Preposterous to 
suppose that these who still show traces of the rainbow 
plumes wherewith their first angelic fore-mother was 
wont to flutter — that these Rhododactyls — should be 
great granddaughters of hirsute gibberers ! 

From the waistband of these dutiful daughters of Eve 
knives and keys were suspended by a short string, on 
which were strung a variety of quaint objects, which we 
were gracefully accorded permission to examine more 
closely. They proved to be a selection of large beads of 
antique fabric — some apparently Venetian, one certainly 
Eoman ; and intermixed with these were the vertebrae of 
some small animal — possibly worn as amulets. 

The clasp-knife itself, , or Britva as it is called, 
attached to this chatelaine, is an interesting feature of 
the national costume of Serbian women. These are some- 
times of the most gorgeous workmanship, inlaid with gold 
and mother-of-pearl, and are alluded to in the popular 

Thus in the tragic poem entitled ' The Stepsisters,' 
which Sir John Bowring has translated, Paul arouses the 
jealousy of his wife by presenting his sister Jelitza with 

A knife, in silver hafted, 
And adorned with gold. 

Thereupon Paul's young wife resolves to ruin Jelitza. 
She slays her husband's black courser and his grey falcon. 


and accuses her stepsister of the deeds. Jelitza, however, 
both times succeeds in persuading Paul of her innocence, 
and Paul's wife must resort to a yet blacker crime. One 
fine evening she steals away her stepsister's knife, and slays 
with it her own and Paul's baby. At early dawn she 
rouses her husband, tearing her cheeks, and shrieking in 
his ear, 

Evil is the love thou beav'st thy sister, 
And thy gifts to her are more than wasted : 
She has stahbed our infant in the cradle ! 

Paul rushes to his sister's chamber ' like one possessed by 
madness ; ' finds ' the golden knife beneath her pillow.' 
' It was damp with blood — 'twas red and gory ! ' Poor 
Jelitza, protesting in vain her innocence, is tied by her 
infuriated brother to the tails of four wild horses. 

But where'er a drop of blood fell from her 
There a flower sprang up — a fragrant flow'ret — 
V^'^here her body fell when dead and mangled, 
There a church arose from out the desert. 

Meanwhile a curse lay on the murderess — 

Little time was spent, ere fatal sickness 

Fell upon Paul's youthful wife — the sickness 

Nine long years lay on her — heavy sickness ! 

'Midst her bones the matted dog-grass sprouted, 

And amidst it nestled angry serpents, 

Which, though hidden, drank her eye-light's brightness. 

In vain she seeks to shrive herself in her sister's cly.ircli. 
A mysterious voice arrests her at the portal, and warns 
lier from the spot, ' for this church can neither heal nor 
save thee.' In her agony she implores her husband to 
bind her too * to the wild steeds' tails, and drive them — 
drive them to th' immeasureable desert ! ' Paul listens to 
her entreaties, and binding her to the wild steeds' tails, 
' drove them forth across the mighty desert.* But — 


Wheresoe'er a drop of blood fell from her, 
There sprang up the rankest thorns and nettles ; 
Where her body fell, when dead, the waters 
Rushed and formed a lake both still and stagnant. 
O'er the lake there swam a small black courser ; 
By his side a golden cradle floated : 
On the cradle sat a young grey falcon : 
In the cradle, slumbering, lay an infant : 
On its throat the white hand of its mother : 
And that hand a golden knife was holding. 

The knives, however, of our friendly family were not 
of such costly material, the crescent-shaped handle being 
simply of horn studded with brass bosses. Of other or- 
naments they displayed on their girdle the usual twin 
circular brooches, and on their hair an array of gilt coins. 
Their dress in many respects much resembled that of the 
rayah women, for they wore the two characteristic aprons; 
their heads were coiffed with the same light kerchiefs ; 
and one woman whom we met on the road had this head- 
dress arranged with a flowing white tassel gracefully de- 
pending at the side, in the same fashion as the Latin 
Christian maiden of the Possavina, whose portrait has 
already been given. ^ But further description of our un- 
veiled Mahometans is needless, as their complaisance was 
such that they allowed me even to sketch them. 

But, one naturally asks, how came these Moslem 
dames and maidens to go about unveiled in this single 
district of a country where the injunctions of the Korkn 
in this respect are usually carried out to the letter ? I do 
not think that anyone who surveys the naked rocks that 
tower above this part of the Narenta valley — who marks 
the dearth of pasture for cattle, and who realizes how 
little land there is for cultivation even beside the streams 
— can be long in doubt as to the true cause of this 

' See p. 96. 



CH. vir, 

omission. Here there is a lawgiver more exacting of obe- 
dience than the Prophet himself. Amidst this limestone 
wilderness Nature reigns supreme, and will be obeyed. A 
voice that cannot be mistaken bids women as well as men 
go forth to their work and to their labour until the evening. 
All hands are needed to stave off starvation, and it is 
essential to the women that they should have the free use 
of eyes and limbs to aid their brothers, husbands, and 

Unveiled Mahometan Women at Jablanica. 

fathers. The struggle for existence is too hard to admit 
of any of the combatants cumbering themselves with the 
impedimenta of any ceremonial law whatsoever. 'Tis the 
pitiless clutch of hunger that has dragged even the Moslem 
women from the seclusion of the harem ; and they have 
cast away their veils and swaddling-clothes that they may 
glean a bare subsistence in the desert ! 


Perhaps the absence of veils may be partly due to the 
influence of the surrounding population, which is mainly 
Christian, In any case it would probably be more accurate 
to say that the Mahometans of this district were incapaci- 
tated by their surroundings from ever taking the veil of 
Islam, rather than that they threw it off after assuming it ; 
and to look on their present costume rather as an old 
Bosnian rehc which has survived their renegation of 
Christianity. But this does not make the assertion less 
true, that the inexorable code of Nature has here over- 
ridden the Koran. 

But we are once more on our way, and as we descend 
the Narenta valley, about an hour from Jablaoica, the 
mountains close in upon us and scenery of the most 
stupendous character engrosses our attention. The view 
at this point is recognised as the most magnificent in the 
whole of Bosnia. The road itself ^ is hewn out along the 
face of a precipice, and the magnesian-limestone and 
dolomitic cliffs on either side of the gorge rise in places 
three thousand feet^ sheer above the Narenta, which, 
chafing and foaming, hurries passionately through the 
narrow mountain portal below. The whole was seen at a 
time of day when everything looks most fresh and lovely, 
lit up with the slanting rays of the rising sun, throwing 
into alto relievo the vast rock-sculptures of Nature, and 
glorifying her heroic forms. Above, peak after peak of 
topaz stood out against the pale azure of this cloudless 
Southern sky ; but no intrusive shaft of gold — even from 
a Phoebean quiver — could penetrate the twilight of the 

* This part of the road is known as Klanac, a name used in Bosnia to 
signify an ' overhanging place/ or a road hewn along the side of a preci- 
pice. At this point we re-cross the Herzegovinian frontier. 

^ Their height above sea-level is circ. 6,000 feet. 

y 2 


gorge itself. Here all was softened into a pervading lilac, 
veined with an intenser purple by infinite striations of 
strata, till the bare mountain-walls — bathed in this float- 
ing light — seemed to be hewn out of amethystine agate, 
and afforded the most exquisite contrasts to the liquid 
emerald of the river below. The cliffs along whose surface 
we were now making our way were veiled in darker 
shadow, snow-white against which expanded a living fan 
of feathery spray from a stream that gushed forth in full 
volume, and of glacier coolness, from a cavern in the rock. 

We crossed over to the left steep of the river by an 
iron bridge — another Enghsh importation — and for many 
hours w^ere still threading this wondrous pass. We had 
indeed passed the Iron Gates of the Narenta, but there 
was still much to admire in the scenery. The high moun- 
tains continued, though they ceased to frown abruptly 
over the river. Lean naked giants they were : ribbed 
skeletons, thinly clad with stunted foliage, though in 
places still yellow with dwarf laburnum shrubs. The 
rocks were perpetually starting up into castles and towers, 
sometimes a quaint mediseval castle suggesting a back- 
ground of Albert Durer, but oftener more Eoman in their 
architecture ; towers, square and round, which from the 
narrow horizontal laminations of the rocks reproduced 
with surprising exactness the appearance of ruined ma- 
sonry, and rugged lines of ancient brickwork that called 
up visions of the time-scarred walls of Anderida. About 
these ruins of an older world clustered, in place of ivy, 
the tender sprays of wild vine laden with unripe beads, 
or here and there a beautiful bind-weed with capacious 
chalices of pink, as large as Convolvulus major. 

As we descended further down the pass, the rocks as- 


sumed a glaring chalky whiteness — rather painful to the 
eyes — but like most things in nature, not without redeem- 
ing effects peculiar to itself. Perhaps, too, it was artisti- 
cally right that everything around should become barer 
and plainer, that nothing might distract the eye from en- 
joying the marvellous beauties of the river. This was 
always the same liquid emerald, mottled with snow-white 
foam, and shading off into it, as when the gem, it imitated 
so well, freezes into its quartzite roots. Now and again 
the river would plunge into a deep circling pool — form- 
ing a dark blue-emerald eye, which paling off among the 
golden pebbles of the shallows, looked like nothing but 
some gorgeous peacock's plume modulating its rainbow 
colours in the breeze. 

Everything around us began to betoken a more South- 
ern climate — the heat was almost tropical, and a lurid 
haze covered the whole face of the land. On the rocks 
grew pink cyclamen and a beautiful purple salvia ; 
amongst the trees were Spanish chestnuts and wild figs, 
and nearer Mostar fine rosy pomegranates, which look 
like quinces blushing at their monstrosity, and grow on 
a shrub that reminded us of a homely privet. In the 
gardens of the few stone cots we saw are delicious ripe 
grapes and golden figs, and we began to understand why 
it is that the Herzegovinian contemptuously calls his 
Bosnian brothers Slivari^ ' munchers of plums I ' 




Amulets against Blight — A Hymn in the Wilderness — We arrive at Mostar 
— Our Consul— Anglo-Turkish Account of Origin of the Insurrection in 
the Herzegovina — The real Facts — The * Giumruk ' — The Begs and 
Agas and their Serfs — The Demands of the Men of Nevesinje — Mas- 
sacre of Sick Rayahs by Native Mahometans begins the War — Plan 
of Dervish Pasha's Campaign — Interview with the Governor-General, 
Dervish Pasha — Roman Characteristics of Mostar and her Roman An- 
tiquities — Trajan's Bridge — Ali Pasha, his Death's-heads and Tragical 
End — The Grapes of Mostar — Start with Caravan for Dalmatian Fron- 
tier — A Ride in the Dark — Buna and the Vizier's Villa — Bosnian Sad- 
dles — A Karst Landscape — Tassoric : Christian Crosses and interesting 
Grave-yard — Outbreak of Revolt in Lower Narenta Valley — The Armed 
Watch against the Begs — A Burnt Village — On Christian Soil once more 
— Metcovic — Voyage Down the Narenta Piccola — Ruins of a Roman 
City — The Illyrian Narbonne— Metamorphosis of Sclavonic God into 
Christian Saint — The old Pagania — The Narentines and Venetians — 
Narentine Characteristics — A Scotch Type — Subterranean Bellowings 
near Fort Opus : the Haunts of a Minotaur ! — Adverse Winds — Tre- 
mendous Scene at Mouth of Narenta — La Fortuna h rotta ! — Our Boat 
swept back by the Hurricane — A Celestial Cannonade — Sheltered by a 
Family- Community — Dalmatian Fellowship with the English — Stagno 
— A romantic Damsel — Gravosa, the Port of Ragusa. 

About two hours and a half from Mostar the pass opened, 
and our way lay across a broader part of the Narenta 
valley, overlooked by the mountains at a more respectful 
distance. Here, passing a cottage, we noticed the poles 
of the fence that surrounded the adjoining maize-field 
adorned with an array of equine skulls. I cannot doubt 
that these were set up for the same reason as induced the 
ancients to set up the skulls of cattle among their corn- 
fields — namely, as an amulet against blight.^ The super- 

* See King's Gnostics and their Hetnaitu, who cites Boccaccio. ' 


stition survived in mediseval Italy, and Boccaccio tells an 
amusing story of a lady who, by turning tlie two asses' 
skulls on her garden fence in a certain direction, tele- 
graphed to her lover that her husband was out. 

At a solitary hut called Potoci, about two hours 
distant from Mostar, we took leave of our Kiradji, who 
would not trust his beast any further, since any horse 
that showed itself in the neighbourhood of the Herzego- 
vinian capital was sure to be requisitioned. Opposite 
the hovel at Potoci was a small stone building, which, on 
enquiry, we found to be a church. It laid no more claim 
to architectural elegance than a barn, and, with its loop- 
holed windows, and even these hermetically boarded up, 
and a door carefully barred, seemed at present more 
fitted for withstanding a siege than for the celebration of 
divine service. Perchance, in these troubled times, the 
congregation preferred to seek the high places of nature 
for their worship. Indeed, whilst passing through the 
more precipitous gorge of the Narenta, we had caught 
the solemn cadence of a Christian hymn, chanted, may 
be, by some shepherd on the mountain side ; but who- 
ever poured forth the ' plaintive anthem ' was hidden by 
distance and intervening rocks from our view ; nor were 
the tones the less impressive that their rudeness was thus 
softened, and that the singer was ' but an invisible thing, 
a voice, a mystery.' 

The minarets of Mostar now rose before us, the city 
lying on the Narenta at a point where the mountains on 
each side again jut forward and overhang the river. To 
the south of this the valley expands once more, so that 
Mostar owes much of its importance to the fact that it is 
the key to the communication between the upper and 

328 ARRIVE AT MOSTAR. en. viii. 

lower valleys of the Narenta ; or, to take a simile from 
the insect world, this city lies on the narrow duct — the 
wasp's waist — ^between the thorax and abdomen of the 
river-system. We now made our way to the chief inn, 
quite an imposing stone edifice, rejoicing in the title of 
the Casino, and kept by an Italian Dalmatian on what he 
is pleased to suppose European principles. Our room, at 
all events, possessed the first beds^ that we had seen 
since we quitted Serajevo, and is further adorned with 
a picture of the Imperatore e Re. Here we were pre- 
sently visited by our Consul, Mr. Holmes, who is lodging 
under the same roof, but had been out when we arrived, 
engaged in relieving the tedium of diplomacy by prac- 
tising a still more gentle craft on the banks of the 
Narenta, which is a fine trout-stream. 

From Mr. Holmes we learnt the official Turkish 
account of the Herzegovinian insurrection — or rather the 
official account as served up to suit English palates; for, 
as was discovered by the consular body on afterwards 
comparing notes, the wily Governor-General gave a dif- 
ferent version of the story to each of the European 
Consuls ! 

According to our version the whole affair was con- 
cocted by about forty agitators, and these not even Her- 
zegovinians for the most part, but Montenegrines and 
Dalmatians. Certainly, even the Vali allowed, the tax- 
farming was a grievance — and who more laudably de- 

* For the benefit of any future traveller who may wish to sle^ at the 
Casino, I may mention that a sure preservative against certain fauna of the 
country is to be found amongst its^ora. Our Consul kindly supplied us with 
some Herzegovinian flea-plant, by scattering which, previously reduced to 
chaff, about the bed, a magic circle is formed round the body of the sleeper, 
which is fatal to every noxious insect that attempts to cross it. 


sirous of removing it than he (the Pashk) himself? — but 
that, so far as the present rising was concerned, it had not 
even this ground of justification. That the misguided 
beings who answered to the summons of the professional 
agitators were what are called Pandours, somewhat cor- 
responding to the Austrian Grenzers^ who, in return for 
frontier defence, are freed from ordinary taxes, and who, 
so far from being ruined by the tax-farmers, are actually 
in receipt of a small sum annually from the Government. 
Well, yes, there certainly have been some complaints of 
misgovernment, and the Pashk, always desirous that the 
meanest of his (the Sultan's) subjects should share in the 
fullest measure the beneficence of his lieutenant's rule, 
had sent two Commissioners, the Mutasarif of Mostar and 
a respectable Christian of Serajevo, Constant EfTendi, to 
inquire into the alleged grievances. But what did 'these 
Commissionei's report? Just complaints they could hear 
absolutely none. Thread-bare grievances, often as much 
as ten years old, were raked up for their benefit, and 
even these were retailed, not by the alleged victims or 
their families, but by self-constituted grief-mongers ! 
True, it might be objected that if the insurrection was 
altogether devoid of just cause, how was its spread to 
be accounted for ? but, really, the explanation was very 
simple. These frontier agitators, not meeting with sym- 
pathy from the loyal Christian subjects of the Sultan, 
supplied its want by intimidation. That in many cases 
the Turkish authorities had received messages from 
Christian villages saying ' We do not wish to join the 
insurrection, but we fear that we shall be forced to join.' 
And forced to join they were. If a village refused to 
throw in its lot with the rebels, they first burnt one house 

830 THE pasha's tears. ch. VIII. 

or one maize-plot, and then another, till the unhappy 
villagers, forced to choose between ruin and rebelHon, 
consented to join their ranks. As to the way in which 
the insurgents were conducting the war, it was almost 
too horrible to be repeated. That they would often shut 
up whole famihes of Moslems in their houses, to which 
they then set fire. That, (to take a single instance,) at 
Ljubinje they spitted two children and roasted them alive 
before their parents' eyes. And while relating these and 
other atrocities to our Consul, the tender-hearted Pasha 
burst into tears. The tears were, I believe, exclusively 
reserved for our representative — a distinguished mark of 

Dervish Pasha has a well-earned reputation for Jinesse, 
but this account of the outbreak can hardly claim even 
the qualified merit of being ben trovato ! The authentic 
history, as elicited by the Consular Commission of the 
great Powers,^ shows very few features in common with 
this official Turkish explanation. To begin with, how- 
ever credible may seem the statement that the Turkish 
governors of the Herzegovina are in the habit of paying 
Christians to defend their frontier, and whatever sums 
the Pandours may have been in the habit of receiving 
from a government on the verge of bankruptcy, these 
considerations are beside the point, for the focus of the 
whole movement has been the village of Nevesinje, not 

* See the report of a Foreign Consul in the Times of December 16, 1875, 
for a more detailed account of the insurrection and its causes. I must refer 
my readers to this. A personage who was also in a position to obtain 
authentic information on this subject, has communicated an interesting 
account of the origin of the insurrection in the Narenta Valley to the Pesther 
Lloyd', and many details, proving the falsity of these Turkish statements, 
have been published by the distinguished gentleman who has been acting 
an the Times" correspondent in the Herzegovina. 


on the frontier at all, but, on the contrary, in the heart of 
the country, only a few miles from Mostar itself. 

As in Bosnia, the main cause of the insurrection was 
the oppression of the tithe-farmers. The case of the 
Herzegovinian rayahs differs, however, in many respects 
from that of their Bosnian brothers. This is due to the 
difference in the physical conditions of the two countries. 
In Bosnia there are many tracts, like the Possavina, of 
marvellous fertihty, where the most extortionate govern- 
ment cannot so entirely consume the fatness of the land 
as not to leave the ray ah considerable gleanings. Far 
otherwise is the case in the Herzegovina. The greater 
part of this country may be briefly described as a lime- 
stone desert, and it is the terrible poverty of the soil 
which makes the position of its Christian tiller so unen- 

Here, too, the chief product of the earth is not maize, 
but tobacco and grapes, and the peculiar character of these 
crops enables the government to extort a double impost 
on each. For the tobacco as it stands on the ground, and 
for the grapes when carried off as must, the tithe-far- 
mers exacts his eighth in his usual arbitrary fashion.^ 
But now follows a supplementary extortion. On what 
remains to the rayah, after paying these eighths, he has 
to pay giumruk^ or excise. This, like the former tax, is 
let out to * publicans ' as villanous as the other tithe-far- 
mers, whom they rival in their extortions. They swoop 
down on an unfortunate village with their gang of re- 
tainers and Zaptiehs, and live at free quarters on the 
villagers. Their business is to find out the quantity of 
tobacco still growing on the stalk, and the remnant of the 

1 See p. 256, «fec. 

332 THE ' GIUMRVK.' 


wine drawn from the must wliich has escaped the col- 
lector of ' the eighth ; ' and their exactions and insolence 
are among the grievances on which the insurgents in their 
appeal to the foreign Consuls lay most stress.-^ These 
men hold an inquisition on every hearth, and the right 
which they exercise of intruding themselves into the in- 
most privacy of the rayah gives them inconceivable 
opportunities for outrage. 

Another of the special evils of the Herzegovina is also 
in a great measure due to the physical aspect of the 
country. This is eminently a peak-land. The mountains 
here are higher than in Bosnia, and the strongholds of the 
old feudal nobility consequently more impregnable. In 
Bosnia the native Agas and Begs have been to a certain 
extent brought under the central government. But in the 
Herzegovina their authority retains much more of its old 
vitality. Here the wretched rayah has not only to satisfy 
the Kaimakams and Mutasarifs, who represent the needs 
of the Osmanli ruler, but is at the mercy of a haughty 
aristocratic caste, who eye their Christian serfs with the 

* The rayahs in their ' Appeal ' say of these ^ Giumrukers ' : — ' They go 
in procession from house to house, and from plantation to plantation, and 
prolong the time as they please, in order to feed gratuitously. But for fear 
they may have put down too little, the round is repeated twice again, on the 
pretext of correcting any mistake that may have been made. Then they 
are in the habit of sending other searchers after the first, on the pretence of 
finding out any trickery on the part of these, as if they were not all accom- 
plices; and they give themselves airs of patronage, and would make it 
appear that they are acting with a scrupulous regard for justice and the 
public welfare. So that the people are ever in the midst of inconceivable 
injury and abuse of authority.' 

The Herzegovinian rayahs have such a good cause that it is a pity that 
a tone of undignified vituperation should run through the greater part of 
their appeal to the civilized Powers. Indeed, I should have supposed that 
the document in question had been drawn up by an old woman, did I not 
find internal evidence of a monkish pen ! The passage quoted above is com- 
paratively moderate. 


contempt of a feudal lord for a villain^ and the abhorrence 
of a fanatical Moslem for a Giaour. 

Suffering from this double disability, social and reli- 
gious, the Christian ' kmet^ or tiller of the soil, is worse 
off than many a serf in our darkest ages, and lies as 
completely at the mercy of the Mahometan owner of the 
soil as if he were a slave. Legally, indeed, the Aga who 
owns all the land is bound to enter into a written agreement 
with his ' hmet ' as to the dues and labours to be paid him ; 
but as a matter of fact this petty potentate haughtily refuses 
to enter into any such compact ; and since the Turkish 
government knows well enough that its tenure of the Her- 
zegovina is not worth twenty-four hours' purchase if it were 
seriously to act counter to the native Sclavonic Mahometans, 
the Beg or Aga can break the law with impunity. He is thus 
allowed to treat his ' hmet ' as a mere chattel ; ' he uses a 
stick and strikes the " kmet " without pity, in a manner 
that no one else would use a beast.' Any land that the 
rayah may acquire, any house he may have built, any 
patch of garden that his industry may have cleared 
among the rocks, the Aga seizes at his pleasure. The 
ordinary dues, as paid by the kmet to the landowner, 
as specified in the appeal of the Herzegovinian rayahs, are 
heavy enough. He has to pay, according to the custom 
of the various districts, a third or a fourth part of the 
produce of the ground, about Mostar and the Plain of 
Popovo as much as half ;^ to present him with one animal 
yearly, and a certain quantity of butter and cheese ; to 
carry for him so many loads of wood ; and if the Aga is 

1 The Metayer system is mostly in vogue. In general the tiller of the 
soil has to furnish the implements of agriculture. See on this M. de Sainte 
Marie (who was for some time French Consul at Mostar), V Herzegovine, 
etude geixjrnpJiique, hutorique ct statistique, p. 102, &c. 


building a house, to carry the materials for it ; to work 
for him gratuitously whenever he pleases, and sometimes 
the Aga requisitions one of the kmet's children, who must 
serve him for nothing ; to make a separate plantation 
of tobacco, cultivate it, and finally warehouse the produce 
in his master's store ; and to plough and sow so many acres 
of land, the harvest of which he must also carry to his 
master's barn. Finally, to lodge the Aga in his own house 
when required, and to provide for his horses and dogs. 

The insurrection in the Herzegovina has been direc- 
ted more against the Mahometan landowners and the 
tax-farmers than against the immediate representatives of 
the Sultan. It is mainly an agrarian war. 

Add to the extortion of the tax-farmers and landlords, 
the forced labour which the government officials exact as 
well as the Agas, the impossibihty of obtaining justice in 
the Medjliss, the atrocious conduct of the brigand-police or 
Zaptiehs, and, of course, the wolfish propensities of the 
shepherd of the herd — the Fanariote bishop of Mostar — 
and we have more than enough to account for the out- 
break of the insurrection without going in quest of 
foreign agitators. 

This is not to deny that the insurrection was aided 
and abetted by Sclavonic agitators from beyond the 
border. The solidarity between the various members 
of the South-Sclavonic race has, as we heard from the 
most well-informed sources, reached a pitch which de- 
mands an attention that it has not received from the 
statesmen of this country. It was inevitable that the 
Sclaves beyond the Turkish border should sympathize 
with their oppressed brothers in their struggle for liberty, 
and should aid them with supplies and recruits. Thus 


there are many representatives of all the South-Sclavonic 
peoples from Bohemia to Montenegro fighting in the 
insurgent ranks/ and one of their principal leaders, Ljubi- 
bratic,^ comes from Free Serbia. But that the insur- 
rection was brought about by foreign agitators is strongly 
disproved by the fact that the outbreak took the Serbian 
Eevolutionary Society — the Omladina itself — by surprise. 
But, it will be asked, have the Sclavonic committees 
and societies, partly literary partly political, estabhshed 
for years at different towns along the Dalmatian and 
Croatian frontiers, effected nothing ? It stands to reason 
that they have played their part in preparing the rayah 
for the present outbreak. To their influence, no doubt, 
is due the fact that among the Christians of several parts 
of the Herzegovina, including the districts where the 
revolt first broke out, a defence organization had already 
been set on foot. The rayahs of every village, who in 
case of extreme oppression were ready to take arms, had 
divided themselves into groups of twenty or thirty called 
Cotas^ under a leader whose title was Nacenik. When, 
however, we come to enquire what induced the rayahs 
to put a halter round their necks by listening to the 

^ M. Yriarte, who visited Bosnia and the Herzegovinian frontier shortly 
after our return, with the object of reporting on the causes and progress of 
the insurrection, estimates the total number of the insurgents in Bosnia and 
the Herzegovina at about 15,000 men, of which 2,000 were auxiliaries of 
kindred race from beyond the frontier. Of these he sets down 1,000 as 
Montenegrines, who had come in defiance of their own Government, and 
divides the rest among the Sclaves of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, and the 
Free Principality of Serbia j to which he adds a few Italians, and an in- 
finitesimal contingent of Poles, Russians and Frenchmen. — Bosnie et Herzego- 
vine, souvenirs de voyage pendant Vinsurrection, p. 277. I am indebted to 
M. Yriarte for an account of the organization of the Cotas in Herzegovina. 

2 Captured shortly after this was written by Austro-Hungarian autho- 
rities on Turkish soil, and now (1876) languishing, not in a Turkish, but an 
Austrian dungeon I Ljubibratic, however, was born in Lower Herzegovina. 


advice of their free brothers beyond the border, and 
organizing such measures of protection ; when we come 
to enquire what at last induced' them to take up arms — 
then there is only one ever-recurring answer — it was 
simply and solely the tyranny of the agents of the Turkish 
government and the Mahometan landlords. 

Nothing shows a more hopelessly wrong conception 
of the whole character of the ray ah mind, than to sup- 
pose that the dull, unlettered peasants of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina took up arms as the champions of Pansla- 
vism or the ' CosmopoHtan Eevolution.' Jacques Bon- 
homme, of whatever nationality, is an emphatically prac- 
tical being, and a grande idee is entirely beyond his com- 
prehension. Poor Herzegovinian Hodge did not exchange 
his spade for a musket to secure Provincial Autonomy ; 
he simply wanted to obtain a fair share of what he earned 
with the sweat of his brow, to gain security for life and 
limb and the honour of his wife and children, to be 
allowed at least to live. How far, since the date of the 
first outbreak, foreign auxiliaries and emissaries may have 
succeeded in infusing the refinements of la haute politique 
into this raw material, is beyond my province to enquire. 
All that I wish to point out is that this insurrection — so 
pregnant in its consequences — was in its origin Agrarian 
rather than Political. It was largely an afiair of tenant- 

The outbreak of the insurrection was certainly 
favoured by a variety of accidental circimistances. The 
visit of the Emperor of Austria to Dalmatia in the spring 
could not fail to raise hopes of Austrian intervention, 
and Christians of both sects did their best to lay peti- 
tions before his Ai)ostolic Majesty. The dispute between 


Turkey and Montenegro with reference to the Podgorica 
affair, induced the malcontents of the Herzegovina to look 
with confidence for allies among their brothers of the 
Black Mountain. Another favourable circumstance was 
the discontent of the Franciscan fraternities, due to the 
recent infringement of some of their privileges and the 
delay of the Sultan in confirming their firmans, which 
made the leaders of the Eoman Catholic communion 
willing to throw in their cause for the nonce with the 
Greek heretics. One of the most curious features of the 
present insurrection has been the way in which the two 
Christian sects have fought side by side.^ 

The scene of the first outbreak was the district of 
Nevesinje ; and the history of the oppression there may 
serve to explain the causes of discontent among the 
rayah population of Herzegovina generally. The village 
of Nevesinje, which gives its name to the surrounding 
district, is about twelve miles distant from Mostar, as the 
crow flies, and lies on the south-eastern flank of the 
mountain range that rises above this city to the east. It 
is built on the skirts of an extensive plain, raised 1,800 
feet above sea level, and once the bed of a large lake, 
known as the Nevesinsko Polje, and overlooked on 
every side by a wilderness of bare hmestone mountains 
scattered with fragments of rock. In a rock-fastness like 
this, Httle harvest could be expected in the best of 
seasons, but in 1874 the harvest proved a failure alto- 
gether. Yet, what there was might not be gathered in 
till the tax-gatherer had claimed his eighth, and as he 

1 Though, since this was written, many of the Roman Catholics have 
deserted the national cause. According to the consular report quoted, the 
sole wish of the Franciscan monks all along was to make a display of the 
extent, and consequent value, of their influence among the Latin population. 



did not make his appearance, it was allowed to rot on the 
ground, till the starving peasantry could endure no longer 
and cut a portion of it for their needs. Months passed, 
and it was not till January 1875 (I am following the 
consular report) that the tax-farmers at last made their 
appearance, resolved to exact the uttermost farthing. 
The Publicans on this occasion consisted of one Christian 
and two members of the renegade Mahometan aristocracy 
of the Herzegovina, who here vie with the Fanariote 
Greeks for this shameful office. These gentry, as is their 
wont, rated the harvest at far higher than its real value, 
and when the peasants refused to comply with their exor- 
bitant demands, let loose their bloodhounds, the Zaptiehs, 
and robbed, beat, and imprisoned whom they would. 
The Knezes or village elders tried to complain to the 
Kaimakkm, but being insulted and threatened with im- 
prisonment, fled to Montenegro. The rest of the villagers, 
unable to obtain any redress, and hourly subjected to the 
violence of the Zaptiehs, took refuge, with their cattle, in 
the neighbouring mountains. Only one old man was left 
in the village, and him the Zaptiehs bound and sent to 
Mostar. Events of a similar character were occurring in 
the neighbouring districts. 

But meanwhile the news of these events began to be 
noised abroad. Unpleasant rumours of sacked villages 
liad reached the ears of the consular bodv, and the 
Nevesinjans had even attempted to tell the story of their 
wrongs to the Emperor of Austria, then engaged in his 
Dalmatian journey. The Vali of Bosnia began to perceive 
that it was high time for him to interfere, or the agita- 
tion might reach such dimensions as. to place him himself 
in a difficult position. The oppressed rayahs of Neve- 


sinje and the surroimdmg districts had appealed to the 
commiseration of civihzed Europe, and something must 
be done to satisfy the great Powers and their representa- 
tives, and at the same time to allay the agitation among 
the rayahs. 

The Vali accordingly appointed the precious Com- 
mission, already spoken of, to confer with the Christians 
on their grievances ; and at the same time gave the 
refugees in Montenegro a safe-conduct to their homes. 
By these means the Vali secured the double object of 
revenging himself on the Christian refugees, and throwing 
dust into the eyes of the consular body. The refugees, on 
attempting to return, were, in spite of their safe- conduct, 
fired on by Turkish troops ; and when at last some of 
them succeeded in finding their way to Nevesinje, the 
Turkish authorities permitted Mussulmans of the village 
to murder several without moving a finger to punish the 
assassins ! The results of the Commission were so falsified 
as to make it appear that the whole agitation among the 
rayahs was fictitious, and the outrages committed during 
the last three months by tax-farmers and Zaptiehs, the 
sack of whole villages, the assassination of men, the viola- 
tion of women, were, forsooth, reduced to ' antiquated 
grievances raked up by self-constituted grief-mongers.* 

This might do all very well, so the Vali thought, for 
the consular body ; but he was well aware that other 
tactics were necessary in order to allay the dangerous 
spirit aroused among the rayah population. The shooting 
of the refugees was due, he explained, to a ' misunder- 
standing.' The Christians were to be convinced of the 
reality of the Commission. The Turkish government even 
consented to place among its members the envoy of the 

z 2 


Prince of Montenegro. The real information received by 
the Commission was very different from that which the 
Vali vouchsafed to our Consul. The grievances of the 
Herzegovinians generally, as against the government, are 
well set forth in the seven demands which the people of 
Neve§inje laid before the Commission. They form an 
interesting commentary on the Turkish rule in the Her- 
zegovina, and savour neither of Panslavism nor of dis- 
loyalty to the Sultan. 

The demands of the men of Nevesinje were as fol- 
lows : — 

1. That Christian girls and women should no longer be molested 
by the Turks. 

2. That their churches should no longer be desecrated, and that 
free exercise of their religion should be accorded them. 

3. That they should have equal rights with the Turks before the 

4. That they should be protected from the violence of the Zaptiehs. 

5. That the tithe-farmers should take no more than they were 
legally entitled to, and that they should take it at the proper time. 

6. That every house should pay in all only one ducat a year. 

7. That no forced labour, either personal or by horses, should be 
demanded by the government ; but that labour, when needed, should 
be paid for, as was the case all over the world. 

The last two demands were added on Dervish Pash^, 
himself appearing at Nevesinje ; the Pashk promised that 
he would do all in his power to satisfy their demands, 
but that they must first lay down their arms. This, the 
Christians, who as yet had committed no overt act of 
hostility, expressed themselves ready to do, if the Pasht\ 
would first find means to protect them from the armed 
Mahometan fanatics by whom they saw themselves sur- 
rounded. This the Vali either could not or would not 
do, and on his departure the Christians, alarmed by the 


hostile attitude of the native Mahometans, fled once more 
to the mountains. 

The weakness of the government now became deplor- 
ably evident. The native Mussulmans, headed hj a 
Beg, a great landowner of the neighbourhood, who was 
also one of the tithe-farmers, broke into the govern- 
ment store and armed themselves with breech-loaders ; 
and on the 1st of July the civil war in the Herzegovina 
was begun, not by the Christians, but by Mussulman fana- 
tics, who butchered all the Christians they could find in 
Nevesinje — a few sick rayahs, who, unable to support the 
hardships of mountain-life, had returned to their homes. 

The Christian refugees now descended from the moun- 
tains to retaliate on the perpetrators of the massacre ; 
whereupon the government, instead of interfering in an 
impartial spirit to stop the disturbances and punish the 
malefactors, dispatched two battalions of Turkish troops 
to aid the Mahometan assassins, and attack the Christians 
indiscriminately. It was now that the rayahs of the neigh- 
bouring districts, who had been suffering from the same 
outrages, answered the urgent appeal of the men of Ne~ 
vesinje, and a great part of the Christian population, from 
the Eoman Catholic districts of the right bank of the 
Narenta to the orthodox Greek clans of the Montenegrine 
border, flew to arms. 

Since then a guerilla warfare has been carried on 
among the mountains with uncertain results, but with 
great atrocity on both sides. In such matters rehgion 
counts for little, human nature for everything ; and there 
seems no good reason a priori for doubting the worst 
instances of Christian atrocity that we heard of. But 
granting that the Christians were guilty, as our Consul 

342 WHO IS TO BLAME ? ch. viii. 

asseverated, of the terrible auto da fe of Ljiibinje, the 
blame must be laid at the door, not of the poor wretches 
who perpetrated these enormities, but of the tyrants who 
have brutalized them for centuries ; just as the worst 
horrors of the French lievolution were but a counter- 
stroke to the accumulated misdeeds of the despotism that 
had preceded it. It is also true that the rayahs have in 
some instances forced Christian villages to join their cause 
by burning the crops and houses of the recalcitrants ; but 
if desperate men, standing at bay against overwhelming 
numbers, have been forced to seek recruits by this means, 
it is that long-continued tyranny has enslaved the very 
spirit of many Christians. As with the miserable pro- 
vincials of the Eoman empire, who saw themselves an- 
nually pillaged by barbarian invaders, it was not that 
injuries were wanting which should have urged freemen 
to take up arms, but that the sense of injury itself— the last 
relic of self-respect — had been deadened within them : — 

Jam nuUi flebile damnum ! 
Sed cursus sollemnis erat, campusque furori 
Expositus ; sensumque malis detr^xerat usus. * 

Aug. 29th. — Dervish Pashk, the Vali, or Governor- 
General, of Bosnia, who has lately taken command of the 
troops in Herzegovina in person, returned here last night 
from Stolac, where he has been superintending operations 
against the insurgents. Our Consul, who visited him this 
morning, found him, outwardly at all events, well satisfied 

* The lines in which Claudian (In Ruf. lib. ii. v. 45, &c.) describes the 
sufferings of the inhabitants of these lands (plat/a Pannonifs miserandaque 
mcenia Thracttm, arvaqtie Myswuni) subject to the annual incursions of the 
barbarians, are hardly less applicable now than they were then ! Claudian's 
lines may, perhaps, be translated : — 

The devastating course each year renews, 
Each year his ravapcci fields the iieu'^ant views, 
Nor weeps he, now, tiic havoc of tlv foe— 
Long use has stolen e'en the 6on&e of woe I 


with the results of his campaign. He is certainly the 
most hkely man to succeed against the insurgents, for not 
only is he by repute one of the best generals that Turkey 
possesses, but he is also well acquainted with the topo- 
graphy of the Herzegovina, and already, as far back as 
1851, distinguished himself in the guerilla warfare in 
this country on the occasion of the last struggle of the 
native Mahometan aristocracy against the Sultan. His 
plan of operations in the present campaign has been to 
occupy the valleys with large bodies of regular troops, 
then, to draw the mountains with light-armed detach- 
ments, and so to drive the game. But to occupy the 
valleys and passes efficiently a body of troops is required 
out of all proportion to the number of the insurgents ; and 
so, although Bosnia has been drained of troops for this 
purpose, and 6,000 regulars have already been landed at 
the port of Klek without hindrance from the Austrian 
government, the Vali still complains that his force is in- 
sufficient, and that the insurgents are perpetually escaping 
out of the toils prepared for them and doubling on their 
pm-suers. He is, however, so well contented with the 
result of his operations that he was about to start for 
Taslidzje and Novipazar in Kascia, where the insurrection 
seemed to be attaining dangerous dimensions, and where 
the commander was altogether incompetent.^ To-day 
he sends three divisions of regulars to Stolac, Ljubinje, 
and Nevesinje. 

The truth of the matter with regard to the insurrection 

' This movement of Dervish Pasha may, however, have been not such a 
matter of his own discretion as he wished to make out. Its announcement 
synchronizes suspiciously with his removal from the Governor-generalship 
of Bosnia bv the Porte, and this account may have been devised to conceal 
his discomfiture from the consular body. 


here seems to be that neither party have gained any sub- 
stantial advantage. The insurgents have burnt several 
block-houses along the Montenegrine frontier, and seized 
some stores. On the other hand, the Turkish garrisons 
have generally succeeded in making their escape, and the 
insurgents have never succeeded in capturing any con- 
siderable town, the Mahometan element being strong 
among the urban population here as in Bosnia. News, 
however, of a substantial success for the Turks arrives 
from Bosnia. The Vali has just received a telegram to 
say that the insurgents in the neighbourhood of Gradisca 
have been beaten across the Save, and that the rebellion in 
the Possavina has been virtually got under. 

This morning our Consul kindly secured ,us an inter- 
view with the Vali, and deputed his Cavass to guide us 
to his Excellency's Konak. We approached the official 
residence through a yard in which there were cannons 
and other warlike material, and making our way up a 
Hight of rickety wooden steps, and thence along a carpeted 
corridor, were finally ushered by a gorgeous official into 
the hall of state — an airy chamber, about which the 
swallows were darting to and fro — in the extreme corner 
of which sat the Pashk, who graciously rose to receive 
us and shook hands. We were next treated to the usual 
coifee, while his Excellency conversed with us by means 
of a French interpreter. Our conversation was naturally 
of a personal and not a political character, so that I may 
confine myself to recording the amusement evinced by 
tlie Vah on our praising the scenery of the Narenta 
Valley* The beauty of mountain scenery was an aspect 
of the outside world wliicli had evidently never even 
suggested itself to his mmd, and it tickled his fancy im- 


mensely. Our conversation was every now and then 
interrupted by the appearance of couriers with despatches. 
The Pasha glanced at them rapidly, and signified his will 
about them to an attendant secretary ; but we were much 
struck with the nice distinctions of rank, observed, the 
officers who bore the despatches advancing so many paces 
from the door according to their official position, and the 
officers in attendance on the Pasha being seated, with due 
reference to their social espacement, at unequal distances 
from the arm-chair which served as his Excellency's 
throne. The Pashk, in spite of his gracious smiles, looked 
worn and preoccupied, so that we hastened to cut short 
our interview, his Excellency rising and shaking hands 
again in the most polite way at our departure. 

Dervish Pasha is a little man of a shrewd countenance, 
and thoucjh affable in his demeanour, not without a lurk- 
ing cunning in his small grey eyes beneath his affected 
cheerfulness. It is indeed a melancholy stoicism that 
supports Turks like himself of ability and education. The 
fact is, that whatever his private opinion as to the issue of 
the present contest in the Herzegovina, Dervish Pasha is 
conscious that he is fighting for a lost cause. Like 
many other of the highest Turkish officials, he feels, 
and has confessed it to his friends, that whether the 
crash come to-day or to-morrow, the Ottoman Empire 
in Eiu-ope is irrevocably doomed. He is as well aware 
as any European that among the governing race of 
Turkey public honesty is as dead as private morality, 
that corruption has closed the door to progress, and that 
patriotism has almost ceased to exist ; nor is he in- 
sensible that the master whom he serves is the source 
and seminary of these evils, and that nothing is to be 


hoped from the seckided youth and corrupt morals of 
him whom the Sultan would impose as his successor. 
The Vali, in spite of the characteristic indifference of an 
Osmanli to the sufferings of rayahs, has not been without 
ambition of improving the material condition of his Vilayet ; 
but he has seen himself thwarted from above by the cor- 
ruption of Stamboul, and below by the impenetrable 
ignorance of his own officials. ' What is the use ? ' he 
would complain to consular sympathizers when desirous 
of introducing this or that reform. ' What is the use of 
giving such orders to the Mutasarif or Kaimakam ? they 
cannot understand them, and if they did they could not 
carry them out ; the people would laugh at their reforms 
or throw them olf! ' 

Mostar, as a town, pleased us more than any we had 
seen in Bosnia. The houses are almost all built of stone, 
instead of the customary wood and plaster. Here, as at 
Tesanj, we noticed a Campanile. There are many gay 
kiosques rising over the graves of Moslem saints. The 
mosques, of which there are forty, are many of them 
domed, and the plate tracery of their windows is curiously 
Roman or Byzantine : the minarets — which, not taking 
their pinnacles into account, look like unfinished Corin- 
thian columns — struck us as more elegant than those of 
Serajevo, and even the Byzantine church was in better 
taste. The impression which the streets of Mostar are 
perpetually forcing on us is that we have come once 
more on the fringe of Roman civilization. These stone 
houses are no longer the Turkish Chalet^ but the Casa of 
Italy or Dalmatia. Some are roofed with a rough slate, 
others with tiles, Romanesque if not Roman. Every now 


and then an Italian physiognomy strikes us among the 
citizens ; the auburn locks and blue eyes of the lUyrian 
interior are giving place to swarthier hues. The name of 
the mountain under whose barren steeps we passed on 
our way here — Porim — in the Sclavonic tongue means on, 
or over against Eome, and seems to indicate that this 
part of the Narenta valley remained Eoman at a time 
when the mountain wilderness of the interior had passed 
into the hands of the Sclavonic barbarians.^ Mostar 
indeed owes her name, and perhaps her very existence, 
to Eoman enterprise. The situation of the present city 
has been identified with that of a Eoman Castra Stativa 
mentioned in the Itineraries,'^ and certainly there are 
abundant traces here of Eoman occupation. This morn- 
ing I looked through two hundred coins, nearly all of 
them Eoman, found in Mostar and its immediate vicinity, 
and from the number of these of Consular date one may 
gather that the Eoman settlement dated back to the 
earliest days of their Illyrian conquest.^ 

But the most interesting monument of her early civih- 
zation, and that to which Mostar, even at the present 
day, owes much of her importance, is the magnificent 
bridge over the Narenta. It is a single arch, 95 feet 3 

' Since writing this I observe that the derivation of Mt. Porim had also 
struck M. de St. Marie. 

- Though authorities differ as to whether it is the ancient Andetrium 
(otherwise Mandertium), Saloniana or Sarsenterum. By the Sclaves it was 
originally called Vitrinica. 

^ The coins I saw were silver and brass. There were one or two Greek 
of Dyrrhachium, and besides Consular and Imperial Roman denarii, there 
were many third-brass coins dating from the time of Gallienus to that of 
Constantius II., but the series broke off" so abruptly with Constantius, that 
one would think that the Roman settlement must have been destroyed about 
the middle of the fourth century. At Siscia, on the other hand, Roman 
coins were common till the time of Honorius. 



CH. VII r. 

inches in span/ and rising 70 feet above the river when 
the water is low. According to tradition, this was the 
work of the Emperor Trajan, whose engineering triumphs 
in Eastern Europe have taken a strong hold on the South- 
Sclavonic imagination. Others refer its erection to Ha- 
drian, and the Turks, not wishing to leave the credit of 
such an architectural masterpiece to Infidel Emperors, 
claim the whole for their Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. 
He and other Turkish rulers have certainly greatly re- 

Mostar Bridge. 

stored and altered the work, insomuch that Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson declares that none of the original Eoman 
masonry has been left on the exterior, but he was none 
the less convinced of its Eoman origin ; and anyone who 

^ I take this measurement from Sir Gardner Wilkinson, who visited 
Mostar about tliirty years ago, and then took accurate plans of the bridge. 
See Dalmatia, vol. ii. p. 68, &c. On the piers of the abutment at the east end 
of the bridge Sir Gardner deciphered two Turkish inscriptions, one of them 
bearing the date 1087 A.n. (1050 a.d.), the second year of Sultan Ma- 
homet, probably referring to repairs made in his reign. 


has seen it will agree with Sir Gardner that the gran- 
deur of the work, and the form of the arch, as well as 
the tradition, attest its Eoman origin. In the gateway- 
towers at each end we also detected something Eoman, 
as besides in some ancient archways and masonry on the 
river-bank by the side of the bridge. This sketch was 
taken looking down the stream from the left side, and 
indeed the view from this point needs not the spell of 
classic associations to fascinate the beholder ! The soar- 
ing arch beneath which the emerald Narenta hurries — 
fuming and fretting amongst the boulders that strew her 
course in many a foamy eddy — as though after eighteen 
centuries she were still impatient of the yoke ^ imposed 
upon her by the monarch of the world ; the steep banks 
tiered with rocks, contorted, cavernous, festooned with 
creepers and wild vines ; above, the arcades of Turkish 
stores, with brilliant Oriental wares ; the peaks and towers 
and gables of quaint old fortifications ; two slender mina- 
rets, and further still a fainter background of barren 
mountain,, against which the mediaeval outlines of the 
city were relieved in the chiaroscuro of a Southern sun. 
The whole scene presented such a picturesque combination, 
alike of colours and outlines, as I have not seen the like 
of in any other town. 

The very name of Mostar signifies in the Sclavonic 
tongue ' the old bridge,' ^ and would be enough to prove 
that the bridge was already looked on as an antiquity 
before the Turkish conquest. Mostar was already a place 
of importance under the dukes of St. Sava. The town 


ET Danuvius,' was the inscription on Trajan's bridge over the Danube. 
^ Most = bridge ; Star = old. 


ciT. viir. 

appears to have been much augmented in 1440 by Eadi- 
voj Gost, Curopalata or ' mayor of the palace ' to Ste[)hen 
Cossaccia, the first duke of St. Sava.^ It was originally 
peopled by Latin Christians, and was the residence of 
their bishop, who afterwards emigrated to Narona. On 
the Turkish conquest, Mostar became the seat of residence 
of the Viziers of Herzegovina; and just as before the 
dukes of St. Sava had exercised an authority almost in- 
dependent of their suzerains, the kings of Bosnia, so now 
the Viziers of Herzegovina succeeded in defying their 
Bosnian superiors, the lieutenants of the Grand Signior at 
Travnik. One of the latest and most representative of 
these Turkish dukes of St. Sava was the renowned Ali 
Pasha, who, for the valuable assistance which he rendered 
Sultan Mahmoud in his struggle with the Mahometan 
magnates of Bosnia, was rewarded with the Vizierate of 
Herzegovina, which in 1833 was separated from Bosnia 
and erected into an independent government for the 
benefit of this faithftJ servant of the Sultan. 

Ali Pasha, originally Ali Aga of Stolac, the seat of 
his hereditary castle and possessions, was a scion of the 
renegade nobility of Herzegovina, and had been enabled 
to aid the Grand Signior against his reactionary Maho- 
metan vassals, by resorting to the bold expedient of 
arming his rayah retainers. He appears to have been 
a man endued above the average with the Turkish apti- 
tude for dissimulation. While the Christians were usefiil 
to him, he was profuse in his promises of reward, and 
used to swear to them ' by the golden cross ' that their 
taxes would be abolislied with the exception of a hundred 
paras yearly of haratch. But, once in the Vizierial 

* Though it is probably hardly true to say that he founded Mostar. 


palace of Mostar, he increased the haratch^ levied the 
tithes with greater rigour, doubled the other taxes, and, 
only anxious to conciliate the Moslems of his Pashalik, 
allowed his agents to treat the rayahs with greater cruelty 
than ever. On the pretence of seizing Christians who, 
after fleeing to Montenegro, might presume, with bri- 
gandish intent, to revisit the Herzegovina, he used to 
send detachments of fanatical officers, who made the cir- 
cuit of the Christian villages, and ill-treated or mur- 
dered whom they pleased, under the pretence that they 
were Uskoks, as these refugees were called, or had shel- 
tered such. A native historian, a monk of Mostar,^ has 
related with a Herodotean simplicity the history of the 
civil war in the Herzegovina and the reign of the terrible 
Vizier ; and the picture which he gives of the sufferings 
of the rayahs, of the sort of justice which was meted out 
to them in the country districts, and the sights with which 
the tyrant in the palace of Mostar was wont to feast his 
eyes, may serve to open people's eyes to the character of 
the government in this part of the Sultan's dominions 
during the years immediately preceding the Crimean War. 
We must remember that the writer is a monk, but there 
is a charming naivete about the following narrations. 

If the Pasha had a weakness, it was for impaled heads 
of rayahs, so that when these Uskok hunters were dis- 
appointed of legitimate game, they used to resort to a 
rough and ready way of securing the Pasha's approbation. 
Thus in 1849 AU Pasha sent Ibrahim, his Cavass-Basha, 
to collect Uskoks. ' Ibrahim,' says our native historian, 

^ Cokorilo. His account was originally published in Russian, and has 
since been translated into German in the Bautzen series entitled Turkische 

352 THE TYRANT AT HOME. ch. viir. 

' tarried in Drobniaki till October, but found no work 
there wherewith to keep his hands warm. Therefore he 
betook himself to the village Cerna Gora/ and after he 
had passed the night there, he gave orders to the vil 
lagers that one out of every house should come forth 
and accompany him to Piva. The poor villagers came 
forth as he bade them ; but when they had gone with 
him one hour's distance from their dwellings, their hands 
were bound, and here, on the plain near Lysina, the 
Cavass-Basha Ibrahim shot them dead one after the other. 
And thus were slain fifteen men, Christians all, miserable 
indeed in their life-time, but guiltless before the all-high 
God. And wherefore were they slain ? For naught, but 
that there should be fewer Vlachs.' '^ . . . . 

' The greatest delight of the Vizier was to look upon 
Christian heads impaled. From his palace in Mostar he 
could not see the fortress walls, and therefore had he them 
made higher that he might see them when he lay at 
meals ; and round about the whole fortress he set up 
palisades of pointed oak-staves, which he topped with 
Christian heads. At these then looked he from his 
window, and his heart leapt thereat for joy. If he would 
oppress any man, he straightway spake and said, " Wilt 
thou never cease to trouble me, till such time as I hew 
thy head from thy body, and bid them stick it on the 
palisades ? — then shalt thou give me peace at last ! " 
Upon this fortress there were 150 staves, and upon each 
stave was always fixed a dead man's head.^ But when his 
murderous bands brought a fresh head, and there was 

* A village of Herzegovina, not the Ceina Gora or Montenegro. 
2 This word is applied by the Mahometan Sclaves of the Herzegovina 
to the rayahs. For its other uses see p. 85. 

'^ liut the monk sliould have mentioned that some, at least, of these 


room wanted for it, then Ali Pashk bade them take one 
or more of the dried heads down, and throw them into 
the street, where the children were wont to kick them 
about for sport, and no man durst take them away.' 

But Ali Pashk himself fell at last into disfavour with 
the Porte, and his intrigues with the Mahometan magnates 
of Bosnia in their final revolt against the Sultan in 1850 
brought on his head the vengeance of the second con- 
queror of Bosnia, Omer Pashk. The catastrophe of our 
satrap, like the episodes of his tyranny, was thoroughly 
Eastern, and as the closing scene of the drama is laid 
with poetic fitness on the bridge of Mostar, I may be 
allowed once more to have recourse to our Herzegovinian 

' The old, lame Ali Pasha was forced to limp on foot, 
with a staff in his hand, to the bridge over the river 
Narenta — and there they set him for mockery on a lean 
and mangy mule, and in such a plight Omer Pashk led 
with him our Ali Pasha, even he who for so many years 
had ruled the Herzegovina according to his will, and had 
done there so many evil deeds ; but Ali Pashk was sore 
vexed at his abasement, and straightway began to rail at 
Omer Pasha, and amongst other things he said : " Why 

were the trophies of war with the Montenegrines, who adorned their 
Vladika's palace at Cettinje with the same barbarous spoil. The Bosnian 
arms, with their impaled Moors' heads, are perhaps a witness to the antiquity 
of this practice in these countries. Sir Gardner Wilkinson tried to persuade 
Ali Pasha to give up the practice, and even attempted a mutual agreement 
between the Pasha and the Vladika on the subject, but Sir Gardner hardly- 
appreciated the character of the man with whom he was dealing. When 
the author of Dahnatia and Montenegro visited Mostar he only saw five 
heads on the palace, but as these were over the tower, there may have been 
far more. The monk mentions that over 1,000 Christians were executed in 
the Herzegovina under Ali Pasha's government, and, during the same 
space of time, only three Mahometans! Ali Pasha used also to impale 

A A 


dost thou torment me thus ? Thou art a Vlach ^ and the 
son of a Vlach ! From whom hast thou authority to drag 
me thus ? Aye, and had I taken arms against the Sultan 
himself, it is not to thee belongs the right to treat me as 
one taken in battle, wert thou three times Seraskier. 
Therefore, unclean Vlach ! send me rather to my Padi- 
shah, that he may judge me, and vex me not in my old 
age." But when Omer Pasha heard this, he feared lest 
peradventure he himself should suffer damage at Stam- 
boul ; for Ali Pasha had many friends there amongst 
those in high places, to whom he was wont to send much 
money from the Herzegovina. So Omer Pasha, turning 
these things over in his mind, in the end perceived that 
it were better if Ali Pasha were no longer of this world. 
Audio! at night, at two of the clock, was heard the 
sound as of a shot, and there came tidings to Omer Pasha 
that it had so chanced a gun had gone off, and behold the 
ball had passed through Ali Pasha's head. Thus died 
Ali Pashk, Eizvanbegovic, on the twentieth day of March, 

Mostar contains about 18,000 inhabitants,^ and is 
therefore a considerable town for this part of the world. 
For trade, it has long been the chief staple of Herzegovina, 
and was renowned of old for its manufacture of Damas- 
cened swords. The wares, however, here are much the 
same as those of Serajevo, so that I have little to record 
of the streets of Mostar, except that one old Turk — 

* For V/ach see p. 3C. Here it is applied by a native Mahometan in the 
sense of a Giaour-Turk, or Christian generally. Omer Pasha was a rene- 
gade, the son of a Christian, and to this the taunt alludes. 

^ Of these 3,000 to 3,600 are of the Greek communion, which possesses 
two churches ; 400 to 500 are Roman Catholics, who have a chapel ; the 
rest are Mahometans. 


whose principles I respect — swore by the beard of the 
Prophet that he would never sell the meanest knife on 
Jiis shop-board to a dog of a Giaour ; and that one Mostar 
damsel — about whose principles I will not enquire, but of 
whose amiabihty there can be no question — deftly dropped 
her veil as we passed her doorway, and favoured us with 
a private view of a not uncomely face.^ Indeed we 
noticed that in the lower valley of the Narenta generally 
the use of the veil is not so rigorously enforced as usually 
in Bosnia, though the face-covering is absolutely discar- 
ded only at Jablanica and the adjoining district. 

There was one very pleasant feature about the streets 
of Mostar, and that was the abundance of fruit. The 
peaches were poor ; but melons, figs, and the grapes at 
about a halfpenny a pound, even when a Frank was a 
purchaser, were delicious. The grapes, of which the 
Mostar wine famed throughout all these lands is made, 
are of magnificent calibre, and are celebrated in Serbian, 
song. When the bride of Mahmoud Pasha '^ speeds with 
the choicest delicacies of earth to comfort princely Mujo, 
these are not forgotten in the dainty meniL The lady 
hides beneath her richest garments : — 

Rosy sweets wrapped up in golden vestments, 
Yellow honeycomb in silver dishes, 
And spring-cherries all preserved in honey ; 
Peaches with the earliest dewdrops gathered, 
Figs of Ocean, and the grapes of Mostar. 

We too, as a preparation for our weary pilgrimage across 

1 Sir Gardner Wilkinson, who made an excursion to Mostar during his 
Dalmatian travels, met with similar adventures. ^ Some,' says he, ' of the 
Mostar women go without their mask and pull the cloth feregi over their 
heads, holding it tight to their faces, and peeping out of a corner with one 
eye, who, when pretty, frequenth' contrive to remove it " accidentally on 
purpose." . . 1 am bound to say that they were often ver pretty, and 
with very delicate complexions.' 

^ See Sir J. Bowring, Serbian Popular Poetry ^ p. 3G. 

A A 2 

356 OUR CARAVAN. en. vriT. 

the Karst deserts of the lower Narenta to the Dalmatian 
frontier, took with us a generous basket of the fruits of 

The day was terribly hot, and a suffocating miasmatic 
vapour ^ (such as we had not met with since we left the 
valley of the Save) brooded over the city, which, accord- 
ing to our Consul, possesses a climate decidedly hotter 
than that of Constantinople, so that we were naturally 
desirous of lightening our day's journey to the frontier 
by obtaining horses. These, however, it was extremely 
hard to obtain ; but the Pashk, to whom we mentioned 
our difficulty, generously placed a couple of horses at our 
disposal, and told us that if we would start this afternoon 
we should have the advantage of a guard that was to 
accompany a caravan of Herzegovinians to Metcovic, our 
Dalmatian destination. We being anxious to push on, 
as we were really afraid of this climate, took advantage 
of the proposal, and about five in the afternoon started 
with our cavalcade on the most terrible journey I ever 

Our caravan, consisting of sixty horses and men, 
slowly mustered together, and having defiled out of 
Mostar over the steep Narenta bridge, we jogged for 
hours along tedious dusty plains, leaving on our left the 
ruins of the feudal stronghold of Blagaj, once the treasury, 
as its name implies, and castle of the Duke of St. Sava. 
About sunset we heard many muttered prayers, and an 
* Ave Maria ' continually repeated by a rayah who was 
riding near ; then it grew dark, so that my brother and 

' In a climate such as that of the lower Narenta the traveller must be 
careful to take abundant doses of quinine, or he will be struck down at once 
with malarious fever. 

CH. Yiii. A RIDE IN THE DARK. 357 

myself, who both of us suffer from night-bhndness, could 
not see an inch ; but still the whole caravan jogged on, and 
though the stars, shining with a reddish, lurid light, looked 
more like ' lamps of heaven ' than the pale stars of old ac- 
quaintance, they did not aid our purblind vision in the least, 
and we felt particularly helpless when we perceived by the 
noise of water running a good way immediately below us 
that we were riding along the brink of a precipitous steep. 
However, our beasts followed their leaders, till suddenly 
there was an universal stampede — my horse rushed down 
a steep bank, nearly throwing me off*, and then plunged 
into a stream to drink, and after some more stumbhng 
and climbing we found ourselves in a struggling crowd 
of men and horses, and were told to dismount. Then 
our steeds disappeared, and we found ourselves together 
wedged into a trampUng throng in what to us was pitch 
darkness. Happily, a Zaptieh, who had been ordered by 
the Pashk to attend on us, rescued us from this plight, 
and we discovered that we had arrived at a Han called 
Buna, where we obtained coffee and a room to ourselves 
over a stable, and rested three hours. 

This Han was erected here by our old friend Ali 
Pashk, who was something more than an impaler of 
rayahs, and did many things to improve the means of 
communication and the material well-being of his Pa- 
shalik. To him Herzegovina owes the introduction of 
rice culture, and also of silk-worms ; and it was here, at 
Buna, that he planted, with this object, the first mulberry- 
trees in the country. The Vizier built a favourite sum- 
mer residence here, of which and its grounds the Mostar 
historian gives a curious description. The Httle river 
Buna, which, issuing from a cavern in the rock below 


the castle of Blagai, here pours into the Narenta. is, like 
it, according to our monk, ' rich in innumerable fish,' 
while the Pashk's grounds abounded in ' all the fruits of 
the South.' ' Ali Pasha laid down pipes in which he 
conducted water from the Buna, and he brought hither 
a dragon's head of lead which poured forth the water 
from its throat into a stone basin, wherein rare fishes 
played. Here the Satrap was wont to tarry for his 
pleasure ; and when his bloodthirsty servants brought 
him the heads of Christian Serbs, he bade them to be 
stuck on the poles of a palisade that stood opposite, and 
in gazing on them had his chiefest delight.' 

Aug. SOth. — During our midnight halt at Buna we 
were not in a position to examine the Vizier's villa, 
nor had we long given us even for repose, for at 2.30 we 
were roused once more by our Zaptieh, and having been 
guided to our horses in the dark, were again jogging on 
our way, and ascending a range of high limestone hills by 
a rough winding road, without the slightest aid from 
vision. As morning gradually revealed to us our sur- 
roundings, we found that we were crossing a rock-strewn 
table-land almost bereft of trees, except a few ohves, and 
some fine old oaks shading an ancient solitary graveyard. 
The motion was most fatiguing, as our horses were any- 
thing but sure-footed, and the saddle was simply excruci- 
ating. The saddle of these countries is simply formed of two 
hurdle-like frames of wood joined together in the middle 
at an angle of over fifty degrees, and padded underneath, 
to protect the horse. We had to sit astride on the sharp 
upper keel, and had nothing but our sleeping-gear to 
mitigate its hardness. Add to this the perpetual jolting 
and stumbling, and the fact that the stirrups were simply 

CH. viir. A MOOX-LANDSCAPE. 359 

loops of cord, which twisted our toes under our horses* 
bellies, and our discomfort may be imagined. The dust 
kicked up by our caravan was terrible, so that to avoid 
it we wished to ride in front ; but our horses, who knew 
their place in the ranks, could not be induced to stir 
from it till we dismounted and literally dragged them in 
front. The pace was provokingly slow, and the Herze- 
govinian drivers were perpetually reminding their beasts 
of the duty of sloth by shouts of Polacko ! polacho ! ^ 
My beast didn't need any reminder of this kind, and 
nothing on earth would induce him to put on a spurt so 
as to distance our dusty train, till by some happy inspira- 
tion I wliistled to him ' Little Polly Perkins of Paddington 
Green.' Then, at last, the intelligent animal pricked up 
its ears and broke into a lively trot ! 

For many hours we had been riding through a 
wilderness, but as we approached the southern edge of 
our plateau a prospect of desolation broke upon us such 
as those who have not seen it can scarcely imagine. In 
every direction rose low mountains, mere heaps of disin- 
tegrated limestone rock, bare of vegetation as a shingly 
sea-beach — a cruel southern Karst, aptly compared to a 
petrified glacier or a moon-landscape, the creation — as 
the old Bogomiles of these parts would have supposed it 
— of some Evil Spirit. Yet, like most things in nature, this 
desert prospect is not without its redeeming specialities 
of beauty. Where the colours of earth are so faint there 
is nothing to interfere with the most perfect development 
of atmospheric effects. Nature has, as it were, provided 
a white sheet for the grandest of all illuminators, and I 
have seen these pale rock skeletons tinged by morning 

* Slow ! slow I 



CH. vnr. 

and evening suns with more delicate saffron and peach- 
blossom than the green hills of more fertile lands are 
susceptible of taking. Even as seen by the light of com- 
mon day, this barren panorama was well worth an artist's 
study. We were among mountain- tops without the 
climbing ; and though the languor of the colours spoke 
too evidently of the universal waterlessness, their delicacy 
was novel and not without a subtle fascination. The sky 
above was of a pale hazy azure ; the sterile hill-sides a 
thin ashy grey, stained here and there with a soupqon of 


Christian Monuments, Tassori6. 

sand colour or faint iron brown ; the plain below was the 
palest and most languid of greens. 

About 9 in the morning we stopped at a hamlet 
called Tassorid, where the caravan made their next halt ; 
but though we tried here and at other hovels on the 
road to obtain some food, we met with one universal 
response: ' Nima chlebba ! nima jaje ! ' — 'We have no 
bread I we have no eggs I ' And the only refreshment 
we could obtain in this terrible waste was the never-fail- 
ing coffee ; so that had it not been for the figs and grapes 

CH. viir. 



we had brought with us from Mostar, we might have 
fainted by the way. The Herzegovinian peasants who 
travelled with us had brought their food with them. 

The seat on which we quaffed our mocha here was 
supported by two fragmentary bases of Eoman columns ; 
but in a graveyard hard by, which we had leisure to ex- 
amine, were modern monuments of still greater interest. 
These were the gravestones of the Eoman Catholic in- 

Graveyard at Tassori(5. 

habitants of Tassoric, which were ornamented with in- 
cised crosses and floral devices of an elegance indeed 
surprising when it is remembered that these were the 
work of rude peasants, unable to write even the names of 
the departed kinsmen whom they wished to honour. 

The whole appearance of this graveyard was indeed 
one of the most curious sights that we observed in our 
Bosnian-Herzegovinian experiences. Here, in one God's 


acre, alike the Infidel and Christian inhabitants of the 
hamlet had found their last resting-place, and the crosses 
of the departed rayahs were only separated by a narrow, 
and in places almost indistinguishable pathway from 
the turbaned columns of the Moslem. It was a striking 
proof that even in this land of bigotry and persecution 
both sectaries can live together in peace ; and it afforded 
a melancholy contrast to the burnt villages whose ruins 
we descried a few miles further on the road. 

The fact is, that the animosity of the rayahs of the 
Herzegovina has not been directed so much against their 
Moslem fellow- villagers as against the Begs, the scions of 
the renegade feudal nobility, who, besides exacting their 
own dues with the rigour that I have described, often — 
in the Herzegovina especially, where at present they seem 
to have retained more of their old power than in Bosnia 
— farm the government taxes. The tithe-farmers here 
are still called by the old ominous name of Spahi. These 
oppress the Moslem peasant almost as grievously as the 
rayah, and there have been instances during the present 
outbreak in which the Moslems of the country villages 
have made common cause with the rayah. It was pri- 
marily against the Begs that the Eoman Catholic popula- 
tion of this part of the Narenta valley ^ took up arms last 

A little further on we passed the Eoman Catholic 
village of Drasevo, whose inhabitants, with those of 
another village called Easno, were the first to take up 
arms in this part of the Herzegovina. These assembled 
with arms in their hands at a bridge just beyond, where 

* An account of these events, to which I am indebted, was communi- 
cated to the Pesther Lloyd. 


the high road crosses the httle river Kruppa, and which, 
though the only means of transit for any stores and 
cannon that the Turks may land at their port of Klek on 
the other side of the hills, we found in a condition so 
dilapidated that we had to dismount from our horses and 
lead them carefully over the broken woodwork — the 
whole fabric being so cranky that it would only bear one 
man and beast at a time. At this bridge the assembled 
rayahs kept watch and ward, allowing travellers, and 
even Zaptiehs, to pass (for it was no part of the design 
of the insurgents at first to war agamst the Sultan), but 
declaring that they were keeping watch against the Begs 

But it was at a mill called Struge, which we left to the 
right on the further bank of the Narenta, that the first 
actual outbreak of hostihties took place. The miller 
here, was a Mussulman, who, offended at the spirited atti- 
tude taken up by the neighbouring rayah villages, refused 
to grind the corn w^hich the Christians, who depended on 
his grindstone for this part of their brcadmaking, brought 
him for that purpose. Thereupon the Christians of the 
neighboiuring village of Gorica resolved to take vengeance 
on the unbelieving miller. The miller, on his part, was 
aided by a division of Zaptiehs ; and here the first shots 
were fired. The Turks were victorious, and the Zaptiehs 
signalized their victory by entering Gorica the following 
night, and burning, after first sacking, the houses of the 
rayahs, who had themselves escaped. They then defiled 
the church, and as a further insult dug up some dead 
bodies and left the naked corpses of a man and a child 
exposed in the churchyard. The insurgents of the 
JSTarenta valley and the country to the right of it were 


thus unfortunate from the beginning, so that when the 
Turks, by the murder of the prior of the Franciscan 
monastery at Livno, had terrified the Eoman Catholic 
hierarchy of this part into submission, the Catholic Bishop 
Kraljevic found no difficulty in persuading the Latin pea- 
santry to follow the example of their spiritual governors. 

A little way beyond the bridge where the rayahs first 
set their armed watch against the Begs, we came to the 
ruins of the village of Doliane, burnt, as we heard, by 
the Turks at a very early period of the insurrection. 
It was a miserable sight, the blackened shells of these 
Httle stone hovels — piteous at any time — clinging to the 
bare hill-side. The Turks were utilizing the ruins to build 
a guard-house, and were pulling down for that purpose the 
few homestead walls which had still been left standing. 
Yet this is but a single sample of the devastation which 
extends along the whole Dalmatian and Montenegrine 
borders of Herzegovina, over an area embracing many 
hundreds of square miles. 

A mile more of jolting brought us to the Dalmatian 
frontier, and at Metcovic we found ourselves once more 
within the limits of Christendom with whole skins, but 
quite worn out after (deducting rests) fifteen hours of 
excruciation on Bosnian saddles. Of this future em- 
porium of Narentan trade there is little to record, except 
the filth of the inhabitants. The cleanliness of the Turks 
and Herzegovinians contrasts most strongly with the 
South-ItaHan squalor of the citizens of Metcovid, which 
culminated in the family circle of the Bezirkshauptmann — 
an interview with whom was forced on us for the exami- 
nation of passports. The Bezirkshauptmann' s table-cloth 
was so filthy that there was not a spot of anything ap- 
proaching whiteness on its whole superficies ! 


Aug. %lst. — Next morning, after considerable bar- 
gaining, we engaged a flat beetle-like craft to convey 
ourselves and our fortunes to Stagno, via the left arm of 
the Narenta. The landscape now afforded most startling 
contrasts of fertility and barrenness. The heights that 
overhung the Narenta, or stretched away to environ its 
broad alluvial plains, were mere rock heaps, of that lunar 
desolation already described ; so bare that the mountain 
goat can scarce glean a pittance on their bony terraces. 
But the broad delta below, formed by the double-armed 
Narenta, is the richest land in all Dalmatia ; the maize 
by the river-side attains a gigantic stature ; on other 
places the soil is covered by a luxuriant network of vines, 
which, without any training or apparent cultivation, yield 
grapes as fine as those of Mostar ; and there are mulberry- 
trees at Fort Opus fifteen feet in circumference. But 
how little of this marvellous rich soil is even culturable 
now-a-days ! To the right of us, what was once a bloom- 
ing champaign, covered with tilled fields, and dowering a 
city wealthy and refined, is now a stretch of fever-breed- 
ing marshes which it would cost millions to drain. The 
wretched inhabitants of the few villages that now remain, 
are, during the summer months, never free from intermit- 
tent fever, and the stranger who values his life must not 
tarry at this season even to explore the interesting relics 
of antiquity that we are now passing on our right. 

Among the swamps that lie two or three miles to 
the north of Metcovic are still to be seen the founda- 
tions of many of the houses of the Illy ri an Narbonne,^ 

^ I venture to assume an etymologic connexion between the Dalmatian 
Narhona and the Narho Martius of Southern Gaul. If we had not the 
testimony of ancient writers to the fact that there was a Celtic ingredient 
in ancient Illyria, we should surely be justified in assuming it from the 

366 ROMAN NARONA. ch. viir. 

further remains of which, inducling many inscriptions, 
are scattered on the hill above, which takes its name 
from the modern village of Viddo. Here stood the old 
Farbona, or as it \^[as called in the later days of Eome, 
Narona ; a city so ancient that it was already of renown 
^ve centuries before our era, and which lost none of its 
eminence when, in B.C. 168, Lucius Annius added it to 
the possessions of Eome. At Narbona, now known as 
Narona, the Eomans planted a colony, and among the 
many inscriptions that have been discovered, we find 
ample witness to its municipal liberties ; while from 
others we learn that temples of Jove, Diana of the woods, 
and Father Liber, once graced this spot. Another in- 
scription on the tomb of a Naronan lapidary^ to which 
I shall have occasion to refer, may, perhaps, bear witness 
to an art which attained considerable perfection in the 
cities of Eoman Illyria, and of which many traces, in the 
shape of beautifully engraved gems, are still discovered 
on this site. 

Yet it was not under the Eomans that Narona and 

names of sogje of the cities. Orange seems to repeat itself in the Illyrian 
Arauso ; Anderida in Andretiuni ; and Corinium gives us a Cirencester in 
the neighbourhood of %t|£t. Epulus, the name of an Illyrian king, is 
curiously suggestive of ttie Eppillus of British coins. This Narbona has 
certain analogies of position w^ith its Gallic homonym. Of course the an- 
cient name of the Narenta — Naro — is also connected with that of the city. 
This city is called Narbona by both Ptolemy and Polybius, but accounts 
of its origin differ. According to one it was a Phoenician colony ; accord- 
ing to others its founders were Phrygian or Thracian. The chief authority 
on Narbona or Naroua is Dr. Lanza, in his Saggio storico-statistico-medico 
sopra tantica Citta di Na7'ona, Bologna, 1842, which I only know through 
the summary in Neigebaur's Siid-Slavm. For the inscriptions of course 
the Illyrian volume of the Coijms Jnscripiiomwi is now the authority ; but 
in elucidating and first calling attention to these much credit is due to Dr. 
Lanza, Major Sabljar, and Sir Gardner Wilkinson, who gives fac-similes of 
thirty-three in his work on Dalmalia. Some Naronan inscriptions were 
published at Ragusa, in 1811, in the Marmora Macarensia, 


the rich alluvial plains of the ^sTarenta, amidst which our 
boat is meandering, attained that importance which 
makes the name of the Narentines famihar to the student 
of European history. 

In the year 639 a.d. Narona, which till then had 
remained a flourishing Koman city, w^as reduced to ashes 
by a mingled horde of Avars and Sclaves, and a few 
years later the Serbian Sclaves called in by the Emperor 
Heraclius took possession of the vacant sites of the lower 
ISTarenta. Out of the ruins of the Eoman Narona they 
built a new town, and here, on the site of classic temples, 
reared a fane to a Sclavonic god, whose name, Yiddo,^ 
is still perpetuated in that of the modern village. The 
site of this lUyrian Narbonne thus became a stronghold of 
heathendom in these parts, just as with the Sclavonians 
of the Baltic shores Paganism found its last defenders 
among those staunch Eugen islanders who guarded the 
precincts of the sacred city of Arkona. It was not till 
the year 873 that Nicetas, the Admiral of the Byzantine 
Emperor Basil, prevailed on the Naren tines to accept 
baptism ; the temple of their country's god under- 
went a strange conversion, and Yiddo lived again in a 
Christian guise as St. Vitus I ^ 

In the next century the country of the Narentines is 
still known as Pagania, the land of the Pagans, by which 
name Constantine Porphyrogenitus mentions it in his 
account of the Serbians ; and it was during the ninth and 

^ Viddo seems to answer to the Vid or Vit in tlie Eiigen deities Svianto- 
vid, Rugevit, and Porevit, in which names it is variously interpreted as 
* warrior ' or ' sight,' Sviantovid being * holy sight ' or ' holy warrior.' In 
Illyria Vid means ' sight.' It is possible that this Vid is connected with 
another Sclavonic god Woda, who has been compared with Woden. 

^ San Vito is curiously like Sviantovid. 


tenth centuries that these barbarous Sclaves, yet untamed 
by a civihzed rehgion, issued forth from the swamps 
and inlets of the JSTarenta, to ravage the coasts of the 
Adriatic, and to rival their heathen counterparts and 
contemporaries, the Sea-kings of the North. As early as 
827 their ' Archons,' as the Byzantine Emperor calls the 
Starosts of their Eepublic, refused to pay the customary 
tribute to Eastern Eome ; and soon after this date we find 
them in possession of Curzola, Lagosta, Meleda, Lesina, 
Brazza, and other islands of the Adriatic. But it is their 
rivalry with Venice which exalts the history of the 
Narentines into world importance. The rising city of 
the lagoons saw her commerce cut off by these hardy 
corsairs, and was at last actually forced to pay them an 
ignominious tribute. It was not till 997 that the Doge 
Pietro Orseolo II. succeeded in throwing off the yoke 
and attacking the pirates in their Narentan fastnesses. 
After three centuries of piratic domination, the Narentines 
saw all their island empire taken from them, and them- 
selves not only forced to disgorge their plunder, but to 
swear allegiance to their rival. The power of the Pirate 
State was broken for ever ; but the fate of Venice had 
trembled in the balance, and for a moment the whole 
current of European civilization seemed destined to be 
perverted from its channel by the inhabitants of the now 
obscure valley through which we are passing. It were 
perhaps as idle to speculate what might have been the 
history of Europe, had the Queen of the Adriatic been 
smothered in her cradle, as to discuss the fates of Lerna 
or Nemea, had infant Heracles perished in the coils of the 
serpent which he strangled ; but the most casual student 
of Venetian annals must ])crceive that the final triumpli 


of Venice over the Narentiiies is the great climacteric in 
the history of her rise. 

We thought we detected something of the old piratic 
genius of the race in the way in which our boatmen 
plundered the maize and vine fields as we passed; but 
there was nothing of Pagan savagery in their demeanour 
and conversation, which on the contrary formed a marked 
contrast to the rudeness and asperity of the ordinary 
Bosniac or Herzegovinian. They spoke indeed a dialect 
closely akin to the lUyrian of the interior, but they spoke 
it with energy, vivacity, elegance ; with a softness of ca- 
dence so thoroughly Italian, that when, as all of them did 
at times, they changed to that language to address the 
signori, we hardly detected the change. Their very form 
is lither, suppler ; of lesser mould, but a striking contrast 
to the overgrown ungraceful Bosniac. The eyebrows of 
these Narentines are not so arched, the hair is darker ; 
they seemed to be many of them Sclavonized Italians, 
descendants perhaps of the Eoman colonists of Narbona. 
One of our boatmen was a very interesting type of man. 
He spoke Dalmatian like the rest, but his face — which, 
like that of many other Dalmatian faces that I recall, 
beamed with all the openness of a sea-faring people — was 
typically Scotch ; and, oddly enough, he wore what looked 
like a Scotch cap, minus the tails. His hair was of a 
lighter and more reddish hue than that of the others. 
One almost fancied that we had here before us a waif of 
that early Celtic population of lUyria already invoked 
as nomenclators of the lllyrian Narbonne whose ruins we 
are passing to our right. 

Meanwhile we have been making very slow progress, 
since a fierce scirocco has set dead in the teeth of our 

B B 


small craft ; and as we arrive at Fort Opus, an old Venetian 
station at the apex of the Narentan delta, our boatmen 
inform us that our two-master is too lubberly for them 
to hope to take us to Stagno in it while the scirocco 
continues to blow, in which case the voyage might take 
two or three days. They professed their willingness to 
find a smaller vessel which should be able to cope with 
the elements, and to resign half the wages, for which we 
had agreed upon, to the new boatmen. 'You see. Sirs, 
it is not for want of will — but we cannot struggle against 

At Fort Opus, accordingly, we shifted into another 
smaller craft, pointed at both stern and stem, and beetle- 
like as the other, and were soon on our way again along 
a part of the Narenta's course which might well be the 
source of weirdest myth and legend. Just beyond Fort 
Opus, the hills on the left — ^bonier skeletons, if possible, 
than before — draw nearer to the river, till they frown 
over its depths. It is at this point that ever and anon 
mysterious boomings and bellowings are heard to proceed 
as from the inmost recesses of the mountain. It is, say 
those who have heard it, as the bellowing of a bull, 
sometimes here, sometimes there, and sometimes every- 
where at once. At other times it seems to issue from the 
darkest pools of the Narenta itself. I cannot say that we 
ourselves heard the ' hideous hum,' but these noises cannot 
be set down as the creatures of superstitious imagination ; 
for a competent observer, Signor Lanza, who was phy- 
sician in this district, and to whom is due a scientific 
account of this part of the Narenta valley, has himself 
borne ample witness of the existence of this phenomenon ; 
nor does it stand alone, for there are equally authentic 


accounts of similar subterranean murmurs and explosions 
having been heard in Meleda and other islands of the 
Dalmatian Littorale. The explanation given by some is 
that the detonations are due to the pressure of the tide on 
the air pent up in the subterranean caverns which honey- 
comb the limestone Karst-formation of these lUyrian 
coastlands ; but Dr. Lanza — who notices that the phe- 
nomenon generally takes place either at sunrise or sun- 
down — confesses that ' a veil of mystery hangs over the 
whole.' Meanwhile, nothing but the portent is certain ; 
and fearful as I am of giving publicity to ill-omened 
words, I cannot refrain from breathing a suspicion that 
this unhallowed bellowing may proceed from some hideous 
Minotaur, caverned in his labyrinthine den. 

This neighbourhood is also much subject to earth- 
quakes, which generally occur during the winter months ; 
and as our boat toiled heavily past a succession of rocky 
headlands, we ourselves experienced a natural phenomenon 
scarcely less awful than these subterranean bellowings 
and convulsions. The wind rose higher and higher, 
whistling among the limestone ' ruins of the older world ' 
that frowned above us. Our two boatmen knit their brows 
and muttered ' la Fortuna I ' Dame Fortune, the old 
goddess of the way by sea and land, still retains some of 
her old attributes of wheel and rudder among these Eo- 
manized Dalmatian Sclaves ; her name ^ is still used on 
these coastlands as equivalent to a tempest ; and even in 
the interior of Bosnia the Sclaves ha\'e so far adopted the 
idea, that a snow-storm — the kind of storm dreaded most 
in the Bosnian mountains — is known to the peasants as 
' Fortunja.' 

• A tempest is also called Forfunale. 
H H 2 


At last, on steering between the two rocky hills, 
whose barren masses rise on either side at the mouth of 
this arm of the Narenta like twin pillars of Hercules, a 
tremendous scene burst upon us. Just opposite to w^here 
the river widened into the sea, towered before us — its lime- 
stone crags and boulders up-piled and jumbled in cata- 
clysmic confusion — a small desolate island, a fit abode for 
nothing unless it were departed spirits of the evil. The 
rays of a pale ominous sunset fell upon these cadaverous 
rocks and flooded them with spectral light. On either 
side of the island the sea shone with abnormal emerald 
lustre ; but what made the brilliance of the foreground 
so unearthly, was the unutterable darkness of all behind. 
The rocky island rose like a phantom against a sky as 
black as night. 

The question for us was whether there would be time 
to round the nose of rock to the left of the Narenta 
mouth, and cross a narrow arm of green sea to a pro- 
montory where we might obtain shelter, before the im- 
pending hurricane came down on us. 

The sailors thought it possible, and with set teeth 
laboured at the oars as for grim life. But the black pall 
of clouds that darkened the western hemisphere drew 
nearer and nearer ; the white sea-mews swept wildly and 
more wildly hither and thither against the face of coming 
night, shrieking weirdly hke the Banshees of coming doom. 
The wind and thunder roared louder in our ears, and a 
thin snowy line of surf stretching along the emerald hori- 
zon, swept like a charge of cavalry across the intervening 
fields of sea — but now, so treacherously smooth ! — and 
dashed down upon our little craft. 

The night was already upon us ; the brilliant beams 


of sunset were suddenly transformed, first into darkness, 
and then into the lurid twilight of an eclipse which lit up 
our men's faces with a pale ashy grey, ghastly to look 
upon. These hardy descendants of corsairs seemed really 
cowed, and shouted to us ' Pray to God, signori ! Pray to 
God ! La Fortuna e rotta ! ' 

The storm had burst with a vengeance. The wind rose 
to a hurricane. The surf and tempest struck our boat 
and beat her head round. It was in vain that the men 
struggled at the oars ; we were borne back, and swept 
along helpless as a log in a torrent. We were driven 
towards the mouth of the Karenta which we had left, 
and I thought every moment we should have been dashed 
against the rocks ; but Dame Fortune was merciful to us, 
and notwithstanding that the men lost all command of the 
vessel, we rounded the rocky headland, and found our- 
selves in comparatively sheltered waters where oars were 
again available, so that we were presently anchored near 
another small Narentan vessel in smoother waters — 
though even the river was one sheet of foam. It now 
began to rain in torrents beyond all our experience; 
so we covered ourselves with our macintoshes, and lay 
down in the bottom of our boat, resolved not to emerge 
till the hurricane should have abated somewhat of its 
fury. But hardly were we settled, when a tremendous 
clap of thunder rent the air, followed by a series of sharp 
blows which made us start to our feet, when we found 
that hailstones varying in size from a bullet to a walnut, 
and in shape like Tangerine oranges,^ were rattling about 
our heads. With our helmet hats on, and under cover of 

1 They were mostly oblate splieroids, formed of three layers, and when 
hroken showing an agate-like section. 


our macintoshes, we avoided being actually bruised, but 
the thunder and lightning that accompanied the hail 
were still more terrific. The forked hghtning literally 
played around our craft, and it seemed that it must 
be struck ; the thunder was such as we had neither of 
us heard the like of before. For a quarter of an hour 
we endured the full brunt of this celestial cannonade, 
and then the storm passed away as suddenly as it had 
come, and rolled on among the more inland ranges of the 
Dinaric Alps, which the lightning kept throwing into 
vivid and unexpected reliefs behind us ; while in front 
and overhead, sky and rocks and sea were illumined 
with the renewed splendour of sunset, and the surface 
of the troubled Narenta calmed down into its wonted 

But it was a storm such as one does not meet with 
twice in a life-time ; it was a fit initiation into this iron- 
bound coastland, with its earthquakes and subterranean 
thunders — the cavernous home of winds and tempests — 
the last refuge of piratic races. 

We now renewed our voyage, and crossing a narrow 
arm of sea, landed in a sheltered cove, where we took 
refuge in a spacious stone house, the abode of a Dalmatian 
Family-community, hoping for the scirocco to subside, in 
order to be able to pursue our course up the Stagno. 
We were shown into the common eating and cooking 
room, a spacious chamber on the ground-floor, where the 
family gathered round us; and the men, when they heard 
that we were English, at once claimed us as brothers, and 
entered into a most friendly conversation. * We like the 
English,' said one; 'we know your greatness on the 
sea^ and we too are a nation of seamen ; England and 

CH. viir. ARRIVE AT STAGNO. 3-75 

Dalmatia! — there are no sailors but in your country 
and ours ! ' Another of the men had been to London 
and Plymouth, and he and the others aired a string of 
Enghsh phrases with a decidedly nautical flavour, amongst 
which we detected ' Or' right,' ' cup o' tea,' ' grog,' ' haul 
up,' 'ease her;' and other expressions proving their 
entente cordiale with ' Jack.' About nine in the evening 
the woman-kind, the children, and some of the men, be- 
took themselves to sleeping chambers above, and we were 
shown a bed in the spacious hall below, on whose floor 
slept our seamen and some of the inmates. But the stuffi- 
ness was so suffocating within, that I preferred the gnats 
and night air without; and finding a convenient rock 
on which to pillow my head, imitated the example of 

About midnight the adverse wind fell, and I being, 
by now, sufficiently disillusioned of patriarchal repose, 

hastened to rouse L and our men, and we were again 

on our way before 1 a.m., the wind shifting enough to 
enable us every now and then to use our sail. We 
steered along the Canale di Stagno piccolo, passing in the 
dark the inlet in which the Turkish harbour of Klek is 
situate. About 8 a.m. we landed at Luka, on the peninsula 
of Sabbioncello, and making our way on foot across the 
isthmus, entered the old town of Stagno by a gateway 
through its high machicolated Venetian walls. It was a 
small friendly place with clean narrow streets, and many 
old stone palaces of the citizen nobihty with stone escut- 
cheons over their doors, quaint rope mouldings and 
carved corbels under the windows, some of which were 
of Yenetian-Gothic style. Other houses, whose owners 
probably could lay no claim to coats of arms, displayed 




over their doorways medallions on which I.H.S. was en- 
graved in a variety of ornamental forms. In the Piazza 
just inside the gate by which we entered lay an old font 
with many noble shields upon it, and in the city wall 
opposite was a Eenaissance fountain with a sixteenth- 
century date upon it. Stagno was once a port of the 
Bosnian kings, till sold by one of them to Eagusa at the 
end of the fourteenth century. 

The peasants in the Piazza were highly picturesque ; 

Women and Child, Stagno. 

the men, like the inhabitants of the lower Narenta, 
strongly resembhng the Turks in their attire, except for 
a yellow sash round their waist, a Dalmatian peaked fez 
on their head, and an ear-ring — a plain golden circle — ^in 
one ear. The women, with their kerchiefs crossed about 
their bosom, showed .more Sclavonic characteristics in 


their dress, but their straw hats with long streamers gave 
them a certain Swiss air. 

While sketching the little group above, in the Piazza, 
I was somewhat surprised to hear the inspiriting tune of 
' Men of Harlech ' proceeding from a neighbouring house ; 
but the mystery was cleared up by our shortly receiv- 
ing a message to the effect that ' the daughter of the 
Judge of Stagno ' wished to secure an interview with the 
Englishmen ; and then it was that we found that this 
amiable young lady, having lived some years in Wales, 
and looking back with a tender regret to her sojourn in 
our island, had resorted to the innocent device of playing 
the national melodies of the Principality in order to 
attract our attention. . . . But alas ! the boat is starting 
for Eagusa — the parting has taken place, — we have left 
our romantic damsel to sigh once more for English society, 
and stagnate at Stagno. 

Our boat — a Trabaccolo, I believe it is called — is 
equipped with an expansive lateen sail, and as a propitious 
breeze, the Maestro, has sprung up, we soon leave Stagno, 
its olives and oleanders and pretty flowering shrubs, its 
siren music and bright eyes, far in our wake, and scud 
along between rocky islands to our right, and the bare 
Karst mountains of the mainland to our left. The deso- 
late, monotonous hills, perpetually repeating themselves, 
were hardly relieved by a stunted tree — it was the same 
scenery so well described by Ovid in his Pontic exile : 

Kara, nee hsec felix, in apertis eminet arvis 
Arbor, et in terra est altera forma maris ! 

At one point, indeed, the village of Canosa, there was 
an oasis of green in the desert landscape ; this was the 
gigantic group of plane trees, which are said to rank 



among the finest in the world. But we are nearing 
Eagusa, and after passing a line of jagged scoglie which 
start up from the deep like the teeth of a gigantic ante- 
diluvian, the sea, hitherto hardly recovered from its 
frenzy of yestereen, becomes tranquil once more, and we 
glide into the harbour of Gravosa, the port of modern 
Eagusa, for depth and capacity reckoned the finest in 




Marvels of the Valle d'Ombla — Port of Gravosa — Rocky Coves and Gardens 
of Ragusa — Ragusa Vecchia; Remains of Epidaurus — Monument of a 
Roman Ensign — Mithraic Rock-sculpture — Plan of Canali and the 
Roman Aqueduct — Antique Gems : the Lapidary Art in Ancient Illyria 
— Epidauritan Cult of Cadmus and ^sculapius — Phoenician Traces on 
this Coast — Syrian Types among modem Peasants— 6Vo^to d'Escola- 
2no and Vasca della Ninfa — Cavern, and Legend of St. Hilarion and 
the Dragon — Mediaeval Sculpture in Ragusa Vecchia — The Founding of 
Ragusa — The Roman City on the Rock, and the Sclavonic Colony in the 
Wood — Orlando saves the City from the Saracens, and St. Blasius from 
the Venetians — Ragusa as a City of Refuge — Visit of Coeur-de-Lion — 
Government of the Republic — Sober Genius of Ragusans — Early Laws 
against Slavery — Hereditary Diplomatists — Extraordinary Bloom of 
. Ragusan Commerce — The 'Argosies' — Commercial and other Relations 
with England — Literature of Ragusa ; she creates a Sclavonic Drama — 
Poets and Mathematicians: Gondola and Ghetaldi — The great Earth- 
quake — End of the Republic — A Walk in Ragusa — Porta Pille — Stradone 
— Torre del Orologio — Zecca and Dogana — Ancient Coinage of Ragusa— 
Palazzo Rettorale — A Mediaeval vEsculapius — Monuments to Ragusan 
Peabody and Regulus — The Cross of Stephen Uros — Silver Palissy- 
ware by a Ragusan Master — Cappella delle Reliquie — Discovery of St, 
Luke's Arm ! — The Narrow Streets of Ragusa : Case Signmili, and 
Hanging Gardens — A Bird's-eye View of the City — The Herzegovinian 
Refugees — A jewelled Ceinture from Nevesinje — The Fugitives taken ! 
— Turkish Influence on Ragusan Costume — Contrast between Ragusan 
Peasants and ' Morlacchi ' — Refinement of the Citizens — Blending of 
Italian and Sclave — The Natural Seaport of Bosnia — A Vision of Gold 
and Sapphire — On the Margin of the Hellenic World. 

As we entered the harbour of Gravosa we passed on 
our left an enticing watery gorge, which I am doubtful 
whether to call sea or river. This is known as the Valle 
d'Ombla; and as it presents one of the most extraordinary 
natural phenomena in the whole of Dalmatia, and is 


withal a most favourite pleasaiince of Eagusan citizens, 
I did not omit to pay my devoirs to it during my stay in 
the city of the Argosies. 

For two miles and a half after leaving the harbour of 
Gravosa our boat (for it is best approached by water) 
sailed up a broad and winding channel of the most ex- 
quisite crystalline blue, reflecting on either side rocky 
heights, and lower slopes covered with cypresses and 
olives, and here and there dotted with white villas and 
cottages. About two miles and a half from the point 
where this inlet debouches into the harbour of Gravosa, 
the channel suddenly narrowed, and the boat had to be 
propelled up the river proper, which is rapid and of 
considerable volume. Its whole course was not more 
than a mile, 

A little way beyond a church called Eosgiatto, rose 
before us a precipitous limestone mountain, whose ridge 
forms the boundary of the Herzegovina, and beyond 
which we heard distinctly the noise of an engagement 
then going on between the insurgents and the Turks. 
At the foot of this mountain the river Ombla springs from 
the bowels of the earth, with sufficient energy to work a 
mill at its very source, and in such volume that we 
may safely echo the words of the Eagusan poet, Elio 
Cervino : — 

Danubio et Nilo non vilior Ombla fuisset 
Si modo projpressus posset habere suos. 

At the mill, which has several large water-wheels, we 
landed, and from beneath the shadow of a fig-tree, then 
laden with golden fruit, siu-veyed this stupendous spring. 

The source itself is nearly forty yards in breadth, 
squaring off against a wall of naked limestone rock wliich 

cff. rx. THE NYMPH OF THE SOURCE. 381 

rises above it nearly perpendicularly, some fifteen hundred 
feet. So untroubled is the pool, so still is all around, 
that you can hardly realise that a river is welling up from 
far below. Here and there, however, the glassy surface 
seems to swell and heave, and in places the waters take 
a mysterious intensity of sapphire that speaks of un- 
fathomable depths. For centuries indeed the sources 
remained unfathomed, and it needed a line eighteen 
hundred feet long before the bottom was reached at 
last ! ^ The mystery of the Ombla's origin has been solved 
by observing the sympathy in ebb and flow which it 
shows with an inland river, the Trebinjstica, on which 
lies the old Herzegovinian city of Trebinje. This river is 
absorbed by Mother Earth in two several places, and one 
of its swallow-holes is distant about seven miles, as the 
crow flies, from the source of the Ombla. Thus the river 
must pass right under a mountain chain, and accomplish 
many miles of underground meanderings before it again 

The Ombla appears to have been known to the 
ancients as the Arion, and Virgil might well have given 
it a preference of immortality over the Timavus, whose 
springs are too scattered and of too small a volume to 
impress the spectator. Doubtless Arion had his nymphs, 
and certainly in mediaeval times they seem to have found 
their successor, even as the mossy cell of nymph Egeria 
became the heritage of Santa Eosalia. Just above the 
source, amidst a shady grove of fig-trees, I came upon the 
ruins of a chapel witli some fair fifteenth-century mould- 
ings, and, carved over a doorway, an angel and St. Mary 
with the inscription AVE gracia plexa, which would 

^ Kohl, Dalmatien. 


indicate the Christian Nymph of the Source to have been 
no other than Our Lady. 

But let us leave this pleasant resort, and resume our 
way to Kagusa herself. 

As we mounted upwards over the neck of land which 
separates the modern port of Eagusa from the ancient 
city, a magnificent view of the land-locked harbour of 
Eagusa, and the shipping anchored on its tranquil waters, 
opened out behind us. The stem rocky heights which 
keep watch and ward over this fiord of Southern sea, and 
shield it from the fierce blasts of Bora and Scirocco, 
soften down perforce as they approach that wondrous 
ultramarine margin. This old historic shore — it too has 
' espoused the everlasting sea,' and clothes itself in 
raiment worthy of the consort that slumbers in its -ample 
bosom ! Luxuriant vines, pale olive woods, and thickets 
of stately cypresses overspread the lower slopes ; and this 
Southern vegetation, with its alternating gloom and pallor, 
embosoms the red-tiled roofs and white walls of the 
pretty little villas, perfumed by gardens where roses and 
verbenas mingle with the citron and myrtle of a more 
tropical flora. Here and there was a less pleasing spec- 
tacle — a foretaste of that melancholy flavour which will 
assert itself in the Eagusa of to-day. Once or twice we 
came upon the deserted shell of what had been the 
country seat of one of the merchant princes of the 
palmier days of the repubhc, standing with ruinous 
walls and charred rafters just as it was left seventy 
years ago, when the barbarous Black Mountaineers and 
Kussians sacked the suburbs of Eagusa. 

The road by which we ascended was lined with labur- 
nums and acacias. We passed two exquisite rocky coves, 


revealing glimpses of blue sea far below us, and now began 
to descend towards the city itself. We marvelled to see 
amongst the rocks and gardens by the roadside, thickets 
of rosy oleander, the spiry flowers of aloes, and here and 
there a palm-tree flourishing in the open air. Then we 
passed an open public garden with a brilliant array of 
flowers ; and just outside the Porta Pille, the land-gate of 
Eagusa, we discovered, in a pleasant grove of plane-trees, 
a small hotel, the Albergo al Boschetto, where we settle 
down once more into civilized life, in a room overlooking 
a beautiful gully of sea. 

But how tenfold delightful are all these varying 
beauties of sea and land to pilgrims like ourselves, fresh 
from the terrible Hmestone wilderness of the interior ! 
What balm in this tropical luxuriance of flowers and 
foliage to eyes dazed with the pitiless glare of naked 
rocks ! What peace in the rhythmic murmur of the waves 
and ' the unnumbered smile ' of the ocean below us ! And 
hardly less refreshing is it to the spirits of those — who, 
like Childe Harold, have penetrated 

From tlie dark barriers of that rugged clime, 
Even to the centre of lUyria's vales, 
Through lands scarce noticed in historic tales, 

— to find ourselves once more among associations as great 
as any that ennoble the haunts of man. 

Here, at last, after painfully exploring some of the 
turbid streams and runnels of the mediseval civilisation 
of Bosnia, we take our seat beside the fountain-head of 
lllyrian culture. This is the city which claims as her 
proudest title that she has been 'the Athens of Illyria.' 
This is the sweet interpreter between the wisdom of the 
ancients and the rude Sclavonic mind, who acclimatized on 


Dalmatian soil the flowers of Greek and Italian genius. 
This is the nursing mother of those enterprising mer- 
chants who in the Middle Ages laid bare the mineral 
wealth of the Bosnian mountams, and infused the spirit 
of commerce into their inmost recesses. This is ' the Pal- 
myra between great empires/ the City of Eefuge which 
received, within walls that never betrayed a fugitive, the 
hunted remnants of Christian chivalry who, when Bosnia 
was trodden down beneath the hoofs of the Infidel, pre- 
ferred exile to renegation. 

For her allotted part of interpreter between Italian 
and Sclave, Eagusa was fitted by her very origin.^ Her 
citizens can trace their lineal descent from the inhabitants 
of the Greco-Eoman Eepublic of Epidaurus. When the' 
Sclavonic barbarians, descending from the mountains of 
the interior, destroyed the ancient city of Epidaurus, the 
Eoman survivors emigrated in a body to the present site 
of Eagusa, then a peninsular rock. Eagusa thus stands 
to Epidaurus in the same filial relation in which Venice 
stands to Aquileja and Patavium, and Spalato to Salona. 

The site of the ancient Epidaurus, to exploring of 
which I devoted a day of my sojourn here, lies on the 
south-eastern horn of the bay on which Eagusa herself is 
situated. The site is covered by a small modern town 
called, by a strange transference of names, Eagusa Vecchia ; 

* In my account of Ragusan history I have chiefly followed Appendini, 
Storta di RagusGy which is the chief authority ; Engel, Geschtchte des Frei- 
staates Ragma ; Chiudina (as given in Neigebaur's Sud-Slaven) ; and Kohl's 
Dalmatien ; and the most recent work on the subject, Ragiistty Cenni Stofici, 
compilati da Stefano Skurla, Canon Onor., Profess. Ginnasiale (Zagabria, 
1876). For English readers Sir Gai'dner Wilkinson in his Dalmatia, 
and Mr. A. A. Taton in his Danube and Adriatic^ have given such excellent 
accounts of Kagusan history that I only give here a general sketch of it, in 
which I have tried as much as possible to avoid treading in the footsteps of 
English fellow-investigators. 


for the same pride of origin which induced the citizens of 
mediaeval Eagusa to style their city ' Epidaura,' led them 
further to speak of their ancient Epidauritan seats as ' Old 

I took my place in the capacious trabaccolo which 
fulfils the function of ferry-boat between New and Old 
Eagusa, and a friendly Maestro filling our lateen sail as we 
glided beyond the shelter of the Isle of Lacroma and the 
haven of the Argosies, we had soon accomplished our 
eight miles' voyage, and were entering the harbour of 
Eagusa Vecchia. This little town, in which most of the 
relics of the ancient Epidaurus are discovered, lies on a 
small two-humped peninsula, and is so nearly an island 
that at one point the two seas are separated only by a 
neck of land some dozen yards broad, and raised not 
more than a foot or two above sea level. This answers 
very well to the accounts of ancient Epidaurus which 
have come down to us ; for we read that the original city 
was on an island till it was joined to the mainland by an 
earthquake ; and Procopius, writing in the sixth century, 
tells us that Epidaurus had two harbours. Everywhere 
around one seems to trace the volcanic activity which, to 
the Greco-Eoman city as well as to her offspring Eagusa, 
was ever the most terrible foe. The rocks that start up 
from the sea at the nose of the present peninsula are 
but so many fragments from the wreck of the old Epi- 
dauran site. Indeed, it is evident that Epidaurus covered 
a much larger area than the site of Eagusa Yecchia can 
supply ; besides the remains on the penmsula, many, and 
amongst them the tomb of a P. Cornelius Dolabella, have 
come to light on the plain to the east about the modern 
village of Obod, which, I take it, preserves, in a Sclavonic 

c c 


r disguise, the first two syllables of Epidaurus. In the ad- 
joining bay of St. Ivan the walls of the Eoman houses 
J are, I was assured, distinctly visible beneath the surface 
I of the sea, which proves that here a great subsidence of 
/ land has taken place within historic times. j 

At Eagusa Vecchia I found an intelhgent peasant, who 
took me round to show me all the old stones that were 
known of in the place ; and as others of the Eagusa Yec- 
chian inhabitants showed a good-natured readiness to aid 
ray search, and nobody minded my entering their abode, I 
had soon seen quite a museum of Eoman antiquities scat- 
tered among old walls and cottage yards, and was so far 
successful as to come upon some inscriptions that have not 
been hitherto described,^ and at least one piece of sculpture 
on which the antiquary's eye had never gazed. There 
were two antique bas-reliefs walled into the houses of the 
quay — a Cupid, and a female figure, by a chariot, perhaps 
intended for Amphitrite, but very badly executed. On a 
column in another part of the town was a comic head of 
good workmanship ; and walled into a cottage yard a 
very fine effigy of a Eoman Signifer, holding an ensign, 
and coifed in a lion-skin cap, like many standard-bearers 
on Trajan's Column, which this figure much recalled. 
Our soldier was shod in curious sandals, and wore at his 
side a short sword with a curved handle, much resembling 
a modern Dalmatian knife. 

On the peninsula I also saw nine more or less perfect 
Eoman inscriptions, one of considerable interest, as it bore 
witness to the existence here of an Ordo decurionatus or 

* Professor Mommsen visited Epidaurus and took down most of the in- 
scriptions for the lllyrian volume of the Corjnia Insciiptionum. I have no 
wish to f^ive more than a general description of the antiquities of Epidaurus 
here, as I hope to give a full account of my epigraphic gleanings elsewhere. 

CH. IX. 



municipal senate. Other inscriptions were to be seen on 
the mainland towards the village of Sveti Ivan, and the 
owner of some oliveyards here showed me some mortuary 
inscriptions engraved on the huge scattered blocks with 
which the heights, which here rise above the sea, are 
everywhere strewn. How terrible is the nakedness of 
this land, where monuments stand ready for the graver ! 
Overlooking the bay of St. Ivan, and the peninsula 

Sculpture of Roman Standard -Bearer at Ragusa. 

of Eagusa Vecchia, rises a rocky hill known as the Colle 
San Giorgio, up which I ascended to investigate a monu- 
ment which had accidentally been found there, not long 
since, by a party of sailors belonging to the Greek com- 
munion. The way in which in which it was discovered 
is interesting, as it was due to the not altogether chance 
coincidence of two superstitions. Just below the hill to 

c c 2 


the east is a Greek church, duly oriented ; and the sailors, 
standing against the wall at the west end, were gazing 
idly at the hill in front, when a curious rock facing due 
east caught their eye ; and climbing up to examine it more 
closely, they found that an ancient bas-relief was sculptured 
on it, which they presently laid completely bare by pull- 
ing away some rocks which had fallen against it. Nobody 
could give me a clearer account of the design than that 
it represented a man and a bull ; but on arriving at the 
spot, I found that it was, as I expected, a Mithraic 
monument of a not unfrequent kind. The carving on the 
slab, which was much mutilated and of very inferior art, 
represented Mithra, in flowing mantle and tunic, sacrificing 
a bull, on which he was kneeling in the usual attitude. 
To the left and right of this central subject was an at- 
tendant — he to the left holding out one arm, apparently 
to hold the bull's horn. Below this device the slab 
seemed hollowed out, and though the rocks in front were 
too large to remove without artificial aid, it seemed 
quite possible that there might be a Mithraic cavern 

From this hill were pointed out to me the traces of 
the ancient aqueduct of Epidaurus, which ran right across 
the plain to the limestone mountain beyond. Here out 
of the rock gushes a glacier-cool underground stream, 
one of the effluents, it is supposed, of the Trebinjstica, 
which the aqueduct once conveyed to the Greco-Eoman 
city. The plain through which it ran is still known as 
Canali from this Eoman work, and this whole district 
was known to its early Sclavonic conquerors as the Zupa 
Canawlovfika. Some remains of this work are to be seen 
where it abuts on the rocky peninsula of Rngusa Yecchia, 


but there is nothing here to remind one of the soaring 
arches of Salona. 

The point where the aqueduct abuts on the rock of 
Eagusa Vecchia is, however, remarkable for other reasons. 
It is just about here that quantities of antique gems have 
been discovered, and one would suppose that this was 
the lapidaries' quarter of ancient Epidaurus. I have 
looked through a great number of these, and have been 
so fortunate as to obtain many, some here and some at 
Eagusa. It is remarkable that the habit of wearing en- 
graved gems has survived among the peasants who occupy 
the modern site of Epidaurus. The Eagusa-Yecchians 
and Canalese take the ancient intaglios that they from time 
to time pick up, and exchange them with the jewellers 
of Eagusa for new gems of coarse Italian fabric ! The en- 
graved stones found here are mostly carneHan, agate, sard, 
bloodstone, onyx, and a few carbuncles. They are of 
various qualities and dates ; some, as can be told not only 
from their execution, but from the Greek letters which ap- 
pear on them, dating back to the Hellenic period of Epi- 
daurus ; but most are Eoman, and of inferior workmanship. 

Nor, as I have already pointed out, does Epidaurus 
stand alone in this fecundity of gems. The same pheno- 
menon, to a greater or less extent, characterises the re- 
mains of all the Eoman sites in Illyria with which I am 
acquainted. The sites of the ancient Narona, Salona, and 
^nona are equally prolific. From Salona there is a fine 
selection in the museum at Spalato, and the Direttore, 
Signor Glavinich, showed me one there which he believes 
to represent an early king of Illyria. 

Yet, as stones adapted for these ornamental purposes 
are not to be found on the Dalmatian shores, it seems difiTi- 


cult to account for their abundance on the Eoman sites 
of the coast-land. Whence were they derived ? 

The clue towards solving the mystery is, I think, to be 
found in the abundance, in the interior of Bosnia and the 
Herzegovina, of just the same stones engraved as Turkish 
amulets and talismans, to which attention has been called 
already. In parts of the Herzegovina these stones are 
accounted so cheap that they are worn for merely orna- 
mental purposes. Some of the rayah women, who had 
taken refuge in Kagusa from Nevesinje and the neigh- 
bouring districts of the Herzegovina, wore broad belts 
studded like ephods with suchlike stones. These were 
mostly, like the antique gems of Epidaurus, carnelian and 
agate, but I also noticed a few amethysts and one or two 
roots-of-emerald ; they were rudely cut, and none, as 
far as I saw, engraved. On enquiring whence they came, 
the women told me that they picked them up in their 
own country, especially in a valley near Nevesinje. Here, 
it seems to me, is the true clue to the origin of the Roman 
intaglios. The raw material must have been gathered 
in these inland valleys, and thence carried to Narona, 
Epidaurus, and the other great coast cities, there to be 
engraved with the elegant designs of classical mythology. 
That there was a regular manufacture of such bijouterie in 
the Roman cities of Dalmatia seems to be proved not only 
by the great abundance of these gems on their sites, but 
also by the fact that a very large proportion of these had 
evidently never been set in rings and other articles of 
jewellery, v/hich would certainly be their ultimate desti- 
nation. In those found near the head of the aqueduct in 
Ragusa Vecchia, we have doubtless the stock-in-trade of 
vsome lapidary, probably lost during one of the earthquakes 


from which the ancient city suffered ; and Signor Glavi- 
nich told me that he was convinced that Salona had been 
the seat of a regular manufacture of Eoman gems.^ Doubt- 
less, were there sufficient evidence forthcoming, it would 
be found that Eoman Dalmatia was the seat of an export 
trade in such articles with other provinces of the empire. 

Some of the gems which I obtained from the site of 
Epidaurus bore allusion to the Mithraic cult, the existence 
of which is witnessed to by the monument on the Colle 
S. Giorgio. Two gems, one a bloodstone representing 
uEsculapius with his serpent-staff; and another, a car- 
nelian, on which the same god of medicine stands side by 
side with his companion Salus, were especially interesting 
as bearing allusion to another Epidauritan cult of which 
we have historic evidence. 

The Illyrian Epidaurus laid equal claim with her two 
Peloponnesian namesakes to be the chosen seat of the god 
of healing, from whom the inhabitants of this part are 
even said to have called themselves Asklepitani. The 
temple of -^sculapius at the Saronic Epidaurus was indeed 
of more world-wide celebrity among the ancients, and it 
was from this that the cult was grafted on to Eome itself ; 
but perhaps if we knew more, it would be found that 
this Illyrian city could boast a greater antiquity for her 
worship. Here, at least, this form of serpent-worship 
seems to fit on to another, the Phoenician origin of which 
is beyond question, and which is intimately connected 
with the earliest historic traditions of this coast. 

* In the Monumenta Macarensia, Rhacusse, 1810, p. 47, is a votive in- 
scription reading i.o.m.s. || maximvs || lapidari || vs ex voto || aram pos., 
found at Narona (Viddo). Is it possible that this was raised by a Lapidary 
in our sense of the word ? May not the coarser craft have been combined with 
the more refined ? Mediteval architects were often goldsmiths as well. 


This district has been identified with that of the 
Ench cleans, the Illyrian people with whom Cadmus and 
his wife took refuge according to the legend. Near here, 
according to ancient geographers, rose the rocks of 
Cadmus and Harmonia, where was the sacred cavern in 
which they were metamorphosed into dragons. Cadmus 
— ^whose very name is equivalent to ' the East ' — was re- 
cognised by the Greeks themselves as of PhcBnician origin, 
and the whole myth is generally accepted as bearing 
reference to the civilising influence of Phoenician colonies 
on the Hellenic border. 

It certainly seems more than a coincidence that the 
mythic account of Cadmus should connect him with this 
part of Illyricum, where we know not only from historical 
sources, but from actual remains, that Pha3nician settle- 
ments existed in very early times. One account of the 
origin of the neighbouring city of Narona or Narbona 
makes it a Phoenician colony ; the island of Meleda, 
whose ancient name is identical with that of the Phoeni- 
cian Malta, the island of Lagosta, and others contain 
Phoenician inscriptions. What more natural than that the 
serpent- worship of these coasts should have been derived 
from the votaries of Esmun ? 

At the present day the Canalese peasants who inhabit 
the district about the site of ancient Epidaurus difler 
so essentially in face and form from the surrounding 
Sclavonic races whose language they speak, and are 
so Oriental in their appearance, that Appendini, the his- 
torian of Kagusa, has recorded an opinion that they are 
nothing else than descendants of the old Phoenician 
colonists of this coast. He would be indeed a bold man 
who should accept this theory without reserve, but I can 

CH. IX. 



bear the most emphatic testimony to the existence of a 
strikingly Oriental type in this neighbourhood. In Ea- 
gusa Vecchia itself the countenances struck me as of or- 
dinary Serbian or Italian types. But in the market-place 
of Eagusa I noticed three peasant women whose faces be- 
spoke, as plainly as faces can speak, an entirely different 
origin. On enquiring whence they came I found them 
to be natives of the Golfo di Breno, a cove about three 
miles distant from the site of Epidaurus. The faces were 

Head of Brenese Peasant. 

strikingly ahke. They were long and narrow, the nose 
thin and long, very finely chiselled, and inclined to be 
aquiline, their eyes black, and their tresses to match. 
The big gold beads of her necklace, and the brilliant red 
and orange kerchief that coifs her head, are the same 
as those worn by her Serbo-Italian neighbours ; but, 
assuredly, the face of the girl I sketched is that of a 
Syrian rather than a Serbian beauty ! 


But to return to Cadmus. The modern Eagusa-Vec- 
chians and Canalese cling with obstinacy to the tradition 
that a capacious cavern which opens beyond the Pianusa 
Canalitana, on the limestone steep of Mt. Sniesnica, is 
the very subterranean shrine where Cadmus and Har- 
monia were metamorphosed into serpents, and where 
afterwards ^sculapius kept his. It is still known as 
the Grotta dEscolapio. Being four hours distant from 
Eagusa Vecchia, I had not opportunity to visit it; but 
Appendini, who explored it, has left a curious account of 
the cavern, which is very beautiful. Most interesting is 
the way in which Sclavonic mythology has approj)riated 
the haunts of classical legend. The Vila herself, under a 
thin Italian disguise, has taken up her abode in the cavern 
of Cadmus and ^Esculapius, and a religious awe falls on 
the Canalese peasant as he points out the Vasca delta 
Ninfa. This is a natural vase formed by the stalagmite, 
looking into which, Appendini descried beneath the water 
three coins — offerings, doubtless, made to the goddess of 
the grot by her peasant votaries ; but when this impious 
mortal would have put forth his hand and taken them 
up, his terrified guide restrained him — he knew that the 
cavern would close its jaws on whoever should attempt 
to carry off the Vila's treasure. 

I heard of another cave also associated with uEscula- 
pius in the peninsula of Eagusa Vecchia itself, and as 
there is a strange fascination about caverns, with or with- 
out legendary associations, I hastened to explore it. A 
corps of observation was soon organised among the 
natives, so that, guided by a party armed with candles 
and torche3, I presently found myself at the opening of 
the cavern. To arrive at the actual entrance you liave to 


drop a few feet into a crevice of the rocks, which are 
overgrown with a profusion of beautiful true maidenhair 
fern.^ We then penetrated through a narrow mouth, 
and the hght of the torches revealed a spacious rock 
chamber with a rapidly descending floor. The descent 
was now rather risky ; the men had to feel carefully every 
step, as the slightest slip sets in motion a miniature ava- 
lanche, and pebbles set rolling bound down to an un- 
fathomed pool below, in which several people have been 
drowned. We were not able to reach the water, but it 
is quite possible that there exist other once accessible 
pools, the avenues to which have been blocked up with 
breccia. If so, this may well have been the cavern from 
which, in the fourth century, the Epidauritans (whose 
aqueduct we may suppose had already been cut off by 
earthquakes or barbarian foes) were wont to obtain their 
supply of fresh water. In that case I had been exploring 
the haunts of another most terrific serpent — this time of 
Christian mythology. 

About the year of grace 365 — St. Jerome be my wit- 
ness ! — Epidaurus and its inhabitants were in a very bad 

Now hard-by Epidaurus was a certain cave called 
Scipum, in which they of that city were wont to draw 
water. And in this cave a grievous dragon ^ called Boas 
had taken his abode, and wrought much slaughter both 
of men and cattle. And it came to pass that St. Ililarion 
entered the city, and when he saw that they of that place 
quaked and feared, for the dragon was of huge and 
monstrous size, he bade them be of good heart, for that 
he would slay the fiend. Now Epidaurus was yet pagan. 

' Adiantum Capillus- Veneris. ~ Or serpent. 


Therefore St. Hilarion gat him to the mouth of the cavern, 
and having made the sign of the holy cross, he cried with 
a loud voice and saith unto the monster, ' Come forth.' But 
when the dragon Boas heard the voice of the holy man, 
then quailed his heart within him, and he came forth. 
Then saith St. Hilarion unto the dragon, ' Follow me.' 
And the dragon followed him, and he went on foot till 
he came to a place called ' the mills,' which is distant 
from the city three miles and fifty paces. And when they 
were come there, St Hilarion saith unto them of Epi- 
daurus that went with him, ' Make now a pyre that we 
may consume the monster and his works.' And the pyre 
being now made, St. Hilarion saith unto the dragon Boas, 
' Get thee on to the pyre.' And the dragon gat him on to 
the pyre. Then was fire set to the pyre that the dragon 
was utterly consumed. But they of Epidaurus, when they 
saw what salvation was wrought for them by the holy 
man, rejoiced in spirit. And at that spot which is called 
' the mills ' they built a temple to the honour and praise 
of St. Hilarion. And once .in every year, at a set season, 
there Wient thither much people from Epidaurus, and 
offered worship unto St. Hilarion, singing pagan hymns, 
and before sundown returned to their own city. 

So much for the true and faithful legend of St. 
Hilarion ; and if anyone doubts its veracity, let him know 
that the mills are to be seen unto this day, and that the 
village hard-by them, S. Ilarione, preserves the name ^ 
of the saintly dragon-slayer, who, I may add, is still held 
in great veneration by the Kagusan church. But how in- 

* It is, perhaps, worth noticing that the two St. HilarieSj of Aries and 
l*oitier8, are signalised iu tincient iconography us slayers of serpents or 

CH. IX. 



teresting is this personified triumph of Christianity over 
the Cadmean and JEsculapian serpent-worship of earlier 
Epidaurus ! — how suggestive is this annexation of local 
mythology by the new religion ! 

It may be believed that after this miracle the faith 
grew in Epidaurus, especially when, twenty years after- 
wards, St. Hilarion followed up his first success by once 
more appearing as saviour of the city. In the year 385, 
we are told there was a grievous earthquake, and the 
waves were piled up like mountains, and threatened to 
engulf Epidaurus. But the saint graved three crosses in 
the sand of the sea-shore, 
and the ocean, which heark- 
ened not to Cnut, obeyed 
Hilarion. Christian bishops 
of Epidaurus are mentioned 
in the sixth and seventh 
centuries, and we hear of 
one nine years before the 
final overthrow and trans- 
plantation of the city. I 
did not notice any Christian 
monuments on the site of Epidaurus of Eoman date ; but 
I was pleased to find in a cottage of Eagusa Vecchia, built 
into the interior wall of an upper room, a very beautiful 
monument of mediaeval Christian art, which I have here 
attempted to represent. It was known to the cottagers 
as the 'Bambino,' and represents the Mother and Child; 
but the influence of classical art is strongly marked, and 
though the tenderness of the whole design is Italian, the 
head of the Virgin might have been mistaken for a heathen 

Virgin and Cliild. 


As early as a.d. 550 the Sclaves had begun to annoy 
Epidaurus, but it was not till the year 656 that the city 
finally yielded, it is said to a combined attack, on land 
by the heathen Narentines and Terbunians, and from 
the sea by Saracen corsairs from Africa. Then it was 
that the survivors of the Eoman population fled to the 
rocky site on the other horn of the gulf on which Eagusa 
stands. Every morning the same migration from Old to 
New Eagusa takes place on a smaller scale. A bevy of 
bright Canalese market-women, in their clean white cre- 
nellated caps, and their more sombre husbands — who, with 
their black turbans, jackets, and trouser- leggings, look 
like Turks in mourning — embark before dawn in the broad 
irabaccolo, that they may sell their fruit and vegetables 
in the Eagusan market. In their company I will return 
to Eagusa and her history. 

The rock on which the refugees from Epidaurus laid 
the foundations of what is now Eagusa, is said originally 
to have been an island, though it is now only a peninsula. 
Eagusa herself owes her name, according to Constan- 
tine Porphyrogenitus,^ to the Greek word AaO, signifying 
' rock,' and the fact that the rock on which the original 
city was built was known long afterwards as ' Lavve' is 
rather favourable to the Byzantine etymology. Thus, 
both her name and origin are representative of the 
role, which the city was to play throughout her earher 
history, and to which she owes so much of her great- 
ness, like ancient Eome, Eagusa began life as an 
asylum. She was at first a rock of refuge for the sur- 
vivors from the wrecks of Eoman coast-cities of Dalmatia. 

* De Administrando Imperw. The derivation Roccom or Reclusa might 
be suggested. Rngusa appears in early writers under various forms, Ijavusa, 
Labusa, LabuJa, Labusjiaduni, llivusiuni, Uaiigin, liachusa, &c. 


The fugitives from Epidaums obtained citizen recruits 
from those inhabitants of Salona who, when their city- 
was destroyed, did not trust to the walls of Diocletian's 
palace for secmity, or could not find room there. Later 
on, when the Eoman cities that occupied the sites of the 
present towns of Eizano, Cattaro, Budua, and other places 
on the Bocche di Cattaro and the Albanian coast, were 
ravaged by the Saracen corsairs, a new influx of Eoman 
refugees set in to Eagusa. 

Eagusa was thus originally Eoman. Her necessities 
led her to ally with the Eastern Empire against the* 
Saracen corsairs, and, however little real authority the 
Byzantine Emperors possessed within her walls, Constan- 
tino Porphyrogenitus places Eausium among the imperial 
cities on the Dalmatian coast. But this Eoman coast-city, 
with her inheritance of ancient civilisation, was already 
consummating that alhance with the ruder energies of 
the Sclavonic mainland, to which her future eminence 
was so largely due. 

The barren mountain which frowns so abruptly over 
Eagusa on the land-side, was once covered with an im- 
memorial pinewood,^ which stretched over a large part 
of what is now included in the mediaeval walls of Eagusa. 
It was in this wood that a Sclavonic colony settled, out- 
side the Eoman rock stronghold, and as in process of 
time the two populations blended, Duhrava — which sig- 
nifies ' the wood,' and had been the name given by the 
Sclaves to their colony outside the w^alls — was attached to 

1 Sir Gardner Wilkinson and others called it ' oak-wood/ forgetting that 
Buhrava and Dnh mean ^ oak-wood/ and ' oak ' only as their secondary 
meaning, and primarily signify a wood and tree generally. Remains of the 
• original pine-wood still covered the mountain side till the French destroyed 
it about the year 1806, when they swept away the freedom of the Republic. 
See Kohl's Dahnatim, vol. ii. p. 45. 


the whole city, so that Eagusa is still known to the Scla- 
vonic world as Duhrovnik — the forest town. 

For long the new rock asylum is engaged in a life- 
and-death struggle with the Saracen corsairs, who deso- 
lated the Dalmatian and Albanian coasts. Generally, 
still Eoman Eagusa turns to the Byzantine Empire as her 
natural protector ; but for a moment we see dimly re- 
flected in her saga the influence of the revived Empire of 
the West ; and one may, perhaps, be allowed to see in it 
a witness to the authority which for a while the great 
Carl succeeded in extending over the Illyrian Sclaves. 
We were surprised to find in the more classic court of the 
Palazzo Eettorale here, a colossal statue such as one meets 
with often enough beneath the quaint gables of a North- 
German Eathhaus. It was, in fact, a Eagusan Eoland- 
saule. According to the Eagusan annalists, Orlando, or 
Eolando, the sister's son of Carl the Great, and a brave 
Paladin, had heard in Bretagne, where he was governor, 
that Saracen corsairs were ravaging the Eoman towns 
of the Adriatic. Orlando at once set out for Eagusa, 
embarked on board a Eagusan galley, won a sea-vic- 
tory over the Saracen pirates off the island of Lacroma 
opposite, took their Emir Spucento captive, and cut off 
his head in Eagusa. Thereupon the grateful Eagusans 
set up then and there a marble statue of Orlando, which 
remains unto this day.^ 

* Alas ! that I should have to record that the statue dates at least eight 
centuries later than Orlando's time. This statue, which originally stood 
before the Church of S. Biagio, was thrown down in 1825 by a hurricane, 
when the following inscription was found on a brass plate beneath its 
pedestal : mcccc. . . . in. di maggio || fatto nel tempo di papa martino 



Another time the treacherous Venetians prepare to 
surprise Eagusa under the pretence of provisioning their 
ships. But St. Blasius, of Armenia, appears to a priest 
in a dream and warns him of the danger to the city. The 
priest gave the alarm, the walls were manned in time, 
and Eagusa showed her gratitude to her preserver by- 
choosing him as her patron saint. A church was reared 
to St. Blasius, his effigy was placed on the great seal, 
the banners, and coins of the Eepublic, and his miraculous 
interposition was commemorated every year at the feast 
of the Purification. 

This is not the place to trace out all the ' dim compli- 
cacities ' of Eagusa's earlier history. Eagusa was by birth- 
right a City of Eefuge, and her rise was mainly due to the 
wise and heroic policy of defending at any cost her rights 
of hospitality. Whether it be the children of the rightful 
king of Serbia, or the widowed queen of Dalmatia, or the 
Bosnians who had fled from the wrath of their Ban, all 
alike obtain shelter from their pursuers within these hos- 
pitable walls. Again and again Eagusa consented to see 
her territory ravaged and her walls beleaguered for the 
protection which her Senate accorded to the unfortunate. 
When Bodin, the Grand 2upan of Serbia, Eascia, and 
Bosnia, then at the height of his power, demanded the 
extradition of the sons of the Serbian prince whose 


interesting to notice that the Ragusan account of Orlando as ' Governor 
of Bretagne ' agrees with the contemporary Einhard's account of the his- 
torical Roland. The historian of Charles the Great calls him ^ Hruodlandus 
Brittannici limitis prsefectus.' Orlando's exploits are associated with other 
towns of the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Sir Gardner Wilkinson mentions 
that the magnificent harbour of Pola is called * Orlando's house.' The pro- 
bable design of the statue of Roland at Ragusa was, as in the free German 
cities, to signify her independence of external authority. 

D D 


dominion he had usurped/ and threatened in case of re- 
fusal ' to fly his eagle to the destruction of Eagusa,' the 
Senate nobly replied ' that it was the custom of their city 
to refuse asylum to no man, but to protect everyone who 
fled to them in misfortune.' On this occasion Eagusa 
underwent a seven years' siege. 

Even those who had been the bitterest enemies to the 
Eepubhc were glad in less prosperous days to throw them- 
selves on a hospitality that never failed. Bogoslave, the 
king of Dalmatia, had besieged Eagusa with 10,000 men 
for sheltering the widowed queen, Margarita ; but when, 
on his death, his widowed queen and son were driven 
forth from their country, Eagusa did not hesitate to give 
them shelter, too. Stephen Nemanj a, the Grand Zupan of 
Serbia and Eascia, who had twice laid siege to Eagusa, 
once with an army of 20,000 horse and 30,000 foot, 
seeing himself likely to be worsted in his struggle with 
the Byzantine Emperor, sent to ask the senate of Eagusa 
if he, too, should be allowed to claim their right of asylum, 
and obtained permission to retire here with his family 
if defeated ; and that, though his adversary was aUied to 
the republic. 

A city strong enough and generous enough to shelter 
the unfortunate on either side could not fail to find many 
well-wishers among the neighbouring peoples and princes ; 
and though Eagusa suffered much in defence of her privi- 
lege of asylum, she won more. Silvester, a king of Dal- 
matia, who had found shelter within her walls, on recover- 
ing power, testified his gratitude by presenting Eagusa with 
the islands of Calamotta, Mezzo, and Giupan. Stephen, a 

* A full account of these events is given by Sir Gardner Wilkinson from 

CH. IX. c(eue-de-lion's visit and gift. 403 

former king, in return for hospitality conferred on him as 
a voluntary guest, made over to the Eepublic the neigh- 
bouring coast-lands from the Val-di-noce to Epidaurus. 
The good relations which she cultivated with the Bos- 
nians, and the gratitude of the Nemanjas, enabled Eagusa 
to lay the foundations of her commercial eminence in the 
heart of Illyria ; and in 1169 two Eagusan merchants 
built a factory on the site of what has since become the 
capital of Bosnia. 

But Eagusa obtained one reward for hospitality to a 
royal stranger which must claim an especial interest from 
Englishmen. Eichard Coeur-de-Lion, during his ill-fated 
voyage from the Holy Land, overtaken by a storm in the 
Adriatic, vowed that he would build a church at the spot 
where he should reach land in safety. He landed on the 
small rocky island of Lacroma, which lies opposite the old 
port of Eagusa. But he was conducted to the neighbour- 
ing city of Eagusa with great pomp by the Senate, and 
entertained with such profuse hospitality and magnificent 
shows, that he yielded to the prayers of the Eagusans, 
and obtained a dispensation from the Pope, to build the 
promised church in Eagusa itself, though it appears that 
his Holiness made him build a small church on Lacroma 
as well. The church which was now built with English 
money (though Eichard had to borrow for the purpose), 
was the old cathedral of Eagusa. Eor beauty it was un- 
rivalled in Illyria,^ but unfortunately no trace of it now 
remains, as it was entirely destroyed by the earthquake 
of 1667. 

* Giacomo da Evora, who published his poems in 1596, writes of Coeiir- 
de-Lion's Cathedral at Eagusa : 

* Aurea templa micant regis monumenta Britanni 
Quo nullum majus Dalmata vidit opus.' 
D D 2 

404 RAGUSA AND VENICE. ch. ix. 

The year 1203 marks a new epoch in the history of 
Eagusa. In this year the Eector of the Eepubhc, Dami- 
ano Juda, endeavoured to prolong his government be- 
yond the year for which he had been elected. By the 
help of the popular party he succeeded in retaining the 
supreme authority for two years, and became so ob- 
noxious to the nobles, that considering the suzerainty of 
a foreign state to be preferable to the tyranny of a fel- 
low-citizen, they held a secret conclave in which it was 
decided to invoke the aid of Venice. The Venetians, 
whose power from the recent conquest of Constantinople 
was then at its zenith, accepted the overtures of the Ea- 
gusan nobles. Damiano was decoyed on board a Venetian 
ship, where, on finding himself a prisoner, he committed 
suicide ; and Lorenzo Quirini, the nominee of Venice, was 
introduced as Count of the Eepublic. But Eagusa never 
sank hke Zara or Spalato, and the other Dalmatian cities, 
under Venetian domination. Quirini had only been re- 
ceived on condition that Eagusa should preserve her ancient 
liberties. When the Eagusans began to perceive an inten- 
tion on the part of the Venetian Count to violate this agree- 
ment they turned him out ; and though they once more 
received a nominee of Venice in 1232, the relation of the 
Eagusans to Venice was rather that of a free ally than 
that of a dependent. It was indeed stipulated that the 
Doge and a majority of the Venetian Senate should nomi- 
nate the Count of Eagusa, that her archbishop should be 
born on Venetian territory, and that her citizens should 
swear fealty to the Doge ; but Eagusa retained the right 
of conducting her own affairs by means of her Senate, of 
which the Count was only president ; she was still governed 
by her own laws ; her own flag floated from her walls. 


and she struck her own coins with the effigy of St. Blasius. 
The treaty stipulates that both states are to have the same 
friends and foes ; but towards Venetian expeditions be- 
yond the Adriatic, Eagusa was only to contribute one 
thirtieth. So free indeed was Eagusa, that in fact she 
never accepted Venetian archbishops ; and in 1346 the 
Venetian Conte was forced to look on and see the re- 
public transfer its suzerainty to the new Serbian empire 
of Czar Dushan. 

Thus it was that Eagusa, though for a while under 
Venetian overlordship, never, like the other Dalmatian 
cities, saw her native institutions swept away by Venice. 
At the present day, at Cattaro or Spalato, alon^ the 
Dalmatian coast-land on each side of Eagusa, you hear 
the Venetian dialect ; at Eagusa the language is pure 
Tuscan. 'St. Blasius, and not the lion of St. Mark, 
adorns the mediaeval walls and gates of Eagusa. On the 
other hand, in costume, manners, and the form of go- 
vernment, the Venetian influence here has been very 

It is about the time of the Venetian suzerainty that 
the government becomes finally fixed. 

Eagusa had doubtless originally inherited her aristo- 
cratic-republican institutions^ from the municipales of 
ancient Epidaurus. Her Senate, which we hear of in 
very early days, is doubtless, like the Senates of Aries, 
Nismes, Vienne, and the other great cities of Lan- 
guedoc and Provence, but a continuation of the Eoman 
Curia, of whose existence in Epidaurus we have both 

» Perhaps the earliest tej'timony to the municipal government of Ragusa 
in the Middle Ages is a diploma of the Byzantine Emperors Basil and Con- 
Btantine VI., dated 997, addressed ' Vitali Archiepiscopo et Lampridio pree- 
eidi civitatis, una cum omnibus ejusdem civitatis nobilibus.' 


historic and epigraphic proof. Her patricians could no 
doubt trace back their ancestry to the late Eoman Hono- 
rati ; they were twitted, indeed, with tracing it back to 
Jupiter ! 

From the time of the Venetian suzerainty onwards, 
the government is vested in three councils, and the city 
divided into three orders : the Nobili or Patrizj, the Cit- 
tadini, divided into the two Confraternite of S. Antonio 
and S. Lazzaro ; lastly the Artigiani, who appear to 
have stood to the Cittadini much as our craft-guilds 
to the merchant-guilds. The government was entirely 
aristocratic ; the Cittadini could indeed fill some public 
offices,^ but the appointments were reserved for the 

The body in which the sovereignty ultimately rested 
was the Gran Consiglio,^ including all the members of the 
nobility who had reached the legal age of eighteen, and 
whose names were registered in the Specchio di Maggior 
Consiglio, a Kagusan Libro dJOro. This body elected, 
every month, the Kector of the Eepublic, and, annually, 
all the great magistrates, imposed the customs and ordinary 
taxes, confirmed or abolished laws, and possessed the power 
of pardoning and passing sentence of death. 

The more ordinary functions of government were in 
the hands of two smaller bodies. The Senate, or Consiglio 
de' Pregati, composed of forty-five members, drew up 
the laws and imposed extraordinary and indirect taxes, 
appointed ambassadors and consuls, decided on peace or 
war, treated of important state affairs, and acted as a court 
of appeal. The Senate met four times a week, and on 

* As the Segretana, Cancelleria, Notarw, Doyana^ Tesorena, and Annona. 
2 Or Maggior Consiglio. 

CH. IX. PI ceo LA VENEZIA. 407 

occasions of emergency. The members were elected for 
life from its body by the Gran Consiglio, but were con- 
firmed in their office every year by this greater council, 
and sometimes a Senator was suspended by it from his 

Lastly, the Minor Consiglio, consisting of seven 
senators and the Eettore of the Eepublic, acted as the ex- 
ecutive of the greater council, exercised judicial authority 
on greater cases, received ambassadors, and treated with 
foreign Powers.^ The Eettore of the Eepublic, who pre- 
sided over this body, held office only a month, during 
which time he was bound to reside perpetually in the 
Palazzo Eettorale, only leaving it on public occasions.^ He 
was clad in a long red robe, with a black stole over his 
shoulders as a sign of supreme authority, kept the keys 
of the city, the archives of the Eepubhc, and convoked 
the Gran Consiglio and Senate. As a further constitutional 
precaution, thoroughly Venetian, three magistrates, called 
Provveditori della Eepubblica, were chosen, who were 
superior to all but the Senate and Greater Council, and 
who possessed the right of suspending laws and decrees, 
and their execution till the Senate had re-examined 

Truly, from a constitutional point of view, Eagusa 
deserved her title of Piccola Venezia! But the aristo- 
cratic government at Eagusa worked with even greater 
smoothness than at Venice. Though the rule of the 

* Decrees and letters to foreign princes from this body are signed ^ II 
Rettore e Consiglieri della Repubblica di Ragusa.' 

^ E.g., to head a procession to the Cathedral. Such days were scrupu- 
lously marked in the Ragusan almanacks — ' Oggi sua sereniia si porta al 

* For criminal causes there was a tribunal of four judges} for civil 
causes four consuls — consoli delle cause civili. 


Eagusan patricians had endured for nigh seven centuries 
before the time of Damiano Juda, and was prolonged 
for over five centuries after his date, it was only broken by 
this solitary revolution.^ Take into consideration the small 
size of the city, and the stability of the Eagusan constitu- 
tion becomes the more remarkable. Here there was no 
room for feudal lords living on their own domains, amidst 
their own retainers, protected and secluded by moats and 
castle walls. The nobles of Eagusa elbowed their fellow- 
citizens in the same narrow streets ; and these fellow- 
citizens, far from being ignorant serfs, were often their 
equals in education and their superiors in wealth. Yet 
the Cittadini and Artigiani of Eagusa were content to leave 
the reins of government in the hands of an aristocratic caste, 
and that caste was so exclusive that during eight hundred 
years there is no single instance recorded of a mesalli- 
ance with the bourgeoisie. 

The secret lies in the sober genius of both the nobles 
and people of Eagusa, and in that elevated conception of 
patriotism which linked it with their religion. A judicial 
gravity presides over the whole constitutional history of 
Eagusa. The governing classes looked on their authority, 
not as a mere prize of birth, but as a sacred trust. The 
prayer for the magistrates of the Eepublic, which opens the 
Eagusan Lihro d'Oro^ breathes that exalted spirit which 
animated all classes of Eagusan citizens from first to last. 
' Lord, Father Almighty, who hast chosen this Common- 
wealth to Thy service, choose, we beseech Thee, our gover- 
nors according to Thy will and our necessity ; that so, 

' There was, indeed, a serious squabble in 1763 between the old and 
new nobility, the Salamanchesi and Sorbonnesi, but it evaporated in high 


fearing Thee and keeping Thy holy commandments, they 
may cherish and direct us in true charity. Amen,' ^ 

Turn where we will among the pages of Eagusan 
history, we find ourselves amongst a grave and sober 
people-— a people who are never carried away with 
success, and who support adversity with calm endurance. 
The heroes of Kagusa are of the majestic Eoman type, 
and her greatest is a second Eegulus. Her peculiar genius 
reflects itself in her arts and sciences, which are severe 
and practical. Her Senate forbids the erection of a 
theatre. The fine arts here fall into the background, 
and mathematics, mechanics, and astronomy take the 
lead. Eagusan nobles are mathematicians, and her poets 
are also merchants ; the masterpieces of her muse are 
stately epics. Her sympathies are with the dignified 
spirit of the East, and the noblest homage of her bards is 
rendered to a Turkish Grand Signior. But Eagusa no- 
where displayed the severe gravity of her manners more 
conspicuously than in the education of her children. 
Palladius,^ writing in the middle of the fifteenth centiuy, 
says of the Eagusans : ' To make manifest how great is the 
severity and diligence of the Eagusans in the bringing up 
of their children, one thing I will not pass over, that they 
suffer no exercises to exist in the city, but literary. And 
if j ousters or acrobats approach they are forthwith cast 
out, lest the youth (which they would keep open for 
letters or for merchanding) be corrupted by such low 

1 ' Doraine Pater Omnipotens, qui eligisti banc Rempublicam ad servien- 
diini tibi. Elige, qunesiimus, gubernatores nostros secundum voluntatem 
Tuara et necessitatem nostram, ut Te timeant et tua sancta Prsecepta 
custodiant, et nos veia caritate diligant et dirigant. Amen!' I take this 
from Kohl, who copied it from the beginning of the Specchio del Maygior 

^ D'6 situ ores Illyrici, lib. i. 


exhibitions.' Truly, in mediseval Eagusa, Jack must have 
been a dull boy ! 

The same sober and religious spirit asserts itself in 
the laws, and the philanthropic and industrial institutions 
of mediaeval Eagusa. Few indeed were the towns which 
could boast of a City Police and Sanitary Board in the 
middle ages ! There was a ' Curates' Augmentation Fund ' 
here in the fourteenth century;^ this city lays claim 
to having possessed the first foundling hospital ^ and the 
first loan-bank in the civilised world, and the annual 
revenues of the pious institutions of Eagusa amounted 
to 800,000 ducats. If we except the early English 
legislation which put a stop to the human exports of 
Bristol, Eagusa was the first state to pass laws abolishing 
the slave trade. In the year 1416 the great council of 
Eagusa, hearing that several Eagusan merchants residing 
on the Narenta were in the habit of selling those under 
them as slaves, passed a law — by a majority of seventy - 
five in a house of seventy-eight — that anyone who hence- 
forth sold a slave should be liable to a fine and six 
months' imprisonment: 'Considering such traffic to be 
base, wicked, and abominable, and contrary to all 
humanity, and to redound to the no small disgrace of 
our city — namely, that the human form, made after the 
image and similitude of our Creator, should be turned to 

* The Congregazione dei Preti was instituted here in 1391 for the re- 
lief of poor priests. 

^ The senate erected a foundling hospital here in 1432. ' Considerando 
di quanta ahhoniinazione et inhumanita era il gettar delle creature humane 
piccole, le quali moliejiate non erano raccoltCy nh seciyndo hwnanita e hisogno sov- 
ventUe.' This institution was called ^ Ospitale della Misericordia.' In 1347 
the Republic built a Poor-house, * Ospitale ad co-m ohtionem et mffragiu7n 
pauperum cunctorum.'' In 1540 an Infirmary for the poor was added. 


mercenary profit, and sold as if it were brute beast.' ^ 
During the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth cen- 
turies, large sums were left by philanthropic citizens of 
Eagusa to be spent in purchasing the freedom of slaves. 

Perhaps the stability of the Eagusan government is 
due as much to her peculiar situation as to the sobriety 
of her citizens. Eagusa is well described by mediaeval 
writers as a ' Palmyra between great empires.' She had 
to preserve her independence in turn from Byzantine 
Csesars, the pirate state of the Narentines, the queen of 
the Adriatic, the Serbian Czar, the kings of Hungary, 
and finally from the Turks and Spaniards. She had to be 
perpetually on her guard against the ambitious designs 
of the most powerful states of the mediaeval world. When 
her neighbours quarrelled, she was continually placed in 
the most difficult position, and the ramifications of her 
trade put her at the mercy of the most remote assailant. 
Thus it was that in her government foreign affairs were 
of supreme importance ; there was constant necessity for 
secret discussion, prompt decision, and the wisdom of a 
hereditary caste of statesmen. A state whose empire is 
mercantile must be mighty indeed to afford the luxury of 
popular government. Eagusa was too small, too closely 
bordered by powerful empires ; and the sterhng sense of 
her citizens acquiesced in the necessity of an aristocratic 

Nothing, indeed, is more wonderful in the history of 
the Eepublic than the tact with which these hereditary 
diplomatists conducted foreign affairs. In an earlier stage 

* This law had to be repeated in 1466 with graver penalties ; and unless 
the slave-dealer could recover those he had sold from captivity within a 
fixed term, he was to be hanged. 


of her history, and a ruder state of society, we have seen 
the obstinacy with which the Senate clung to the Eagusan 
rights of asyknn. In a later and more diplomatic age 
the City of Eefuge becomes the champion of the rights of 
neutrals. We are lost in wonder at the skill with which 
the Eepublic preserves its neutrality between Venice and 
the Greeks, Venice and the Narentines, Venice and the 
Hungarians ; between the Serbian Czar and Byzantine 
Caesar, between the Turks and the Hungarians, the Turks 
and the Venetians, the Turks and the fleets of Charles V. 
It appears to have been a secret of Eagusan pohcy to 
yield a certain suzerainty to that Power which was strong 
on the mainland. While Venice is omnipotent in Dal- 
matia, Eagusa recognizes the overlordship of the Doge ; 
Czar Dushan stretches the Serbian empire to the sea, and 
Eagusa transfers to him her homage. The Serbian empire 
breaks up ; the Hungarian flag floats on the walls of the 
Dalmatian cities in place of the lion of St. Mark ; and 
from 1358 to 1483 Eagusa accepts the suzerainty of the 
kings of Hungary. But with admirable perception the 
statesmen of Eagusa turn towards the rising sun ; and 
already, in 1370, when the rest of Eastern Europe was 
hardly conscious of the existence of its future conquerors, 
the Eagusans sent an embassy to Broussa, in Asia Minor, to 
the successor of Orchan,^ Emir of the Turks, in which, in 
return for a yearly payment of 500 sequins, they obtained 
a firman of trade privileges, still preserved in the archives 
of Eagusa, and laid the foundations of a friendship which 
afterwards saved the small Eepublic when the empire of 
Byzantium, the despotates of Serbia and Albania, and the 

' Appendini makes it